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Former Coinbase CTO Closes $1M Bitcoin Bet, Donates $1.5M to Charities

Balaji Srinivasan's Bet and Donations Signal Concerns About Economy and Bitcoin Development

Twitter: @balajis

Wed, 03 May 2023, 03:31 am UTC

Balaji Srinivasan, the former Chief Technology Officer at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has closed his $1 million bet on Bitcoin ahead of schedule and donated $1.5 million to three different entities as settlement.

In March, Srinivasan made the prediction that a banking crisis would trigger a substantial devaluation of the U.S. dollar, hyperinflation, and a surge in Bitcoin to $1 million by mid-June. He backed his prediction with a $1 million bet.

On Tuesday, Srinivasan announced on Twitter that he had closed the bet, saying "I just burned a million to tell you they're printing trillions." He went on to say that he spent his own money to send a signal that something is wrong with the economy and that it will not have a "soft landing" as promised by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, but something much worse.

Srinivasan noted that current leaders, including Powell, are similarly in denial and that crises can move much more quickly than anyone expects. He also claimed that it took only two days for the Fed to print $300 billion following the Silicon Valley Bank failure, two weeks for $500 billion to leave the banking system, and two months to go from "patient zero" to national lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, in closing out the bet, Srinivasan made three $500,000 donations. One went to fund Bitcoin Core development at Chaincode Labs, another went to Give Directly, and the third went to pseudonymous Twitter user James Medlock, who in March offered to bet $1 million that the U.S. would not experience hyperinflation.

Srinivasan's donation to Bitcoin Core development is a significant nod to the importance of the protocol for the long-term health and growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem. The protocol is responsible for the operation and security of the Bitcoin network, and improvements to it are crucial for the continued development and adoption of the cryptocurrency.

Furthermore, the move by Srinivasan has been met with mixed reactions in the cryptocurrency community, with some applauding his decision to back up his prediction with a significant financial commitment, while others question the accuracy of his prediction and the wisdom of his actions.

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