Balaji S. Srinivasan, the former CTO of crypto startup Coinbase and former General Partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, recently wrote a blog post titled “ Why India should buy Bitcoin Why India should buy Bitcoin Balaji S. Srinivasan Why India should buy Bitcoin Read more ”.
Calling out to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Srinivasan exhorted exhorted @balajis/Twitter Read more the Indian government to “support crypto as a pillar of its foreign & domestic policy”. The justification was that Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, “defends national security by preventing deplatforming, deters fraud via on-chain accounting, and offers a decentralized alternative to a new Cold War”.
This post was noteworthy for three reasons.
First, given his antecedents, Srinivasan is an influential voice in the crypto and investor communities. He is also a multidisciplinary thinker whose early pronouncements on the pandemic earned him the moniker of “ The Man Who Called COVID The Man Who Called COVID Coindesk Balaji Srinivasan: The Man Who Called COVID Read more ”. Given his Indian roots, Srinivasan’s recommendations to the Indian government were all the more worthy of attention.
Second, Bitcoin has been on a tear in recent times. It is the world’s largest cryptocurrency and has gone up nearly 5X in the past year and 10X since March 2020, approaching the US$50,000 mark. There has never been higher interest in crypto, and with popular leaders like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey putting their voices behind the movement, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to believe that Bitcoin’s moment in the sun is nigh.
Finally, in dire contrast to the global bullishness around Bitcoin, the Indian government is poised to completely ban and outlaw completely ban and outlaw Bloomberg Quint Intent On Ban, India To Give Transition Time To Crypto Investors Read more crypto in all forms, making even holding it a cognisable criminal offence.
Against this backdrop, it came as no surprise that Srinivasan’s post was met with overwhelming support both by the press and by the broad startup community in India. It was hailed as being revolutionary and radical.
On the surface, the call for the Indian government to buy into Bitcoin is a strange exhortation given that the core imperative behind crypto is to establish a currency that goes beyond maximalist regimes and functions outside governmental control.
Be that as it may, the essay goes on to list purported benefits of Bitcoin for matters related to national security, monetary policy, foreign policy, and foreign investments.