In a talk at the Bitcoin2019 conference, Tim Draper revealed his perspective on the implications of his "joke" bet with Argentina’s current president which he made this year during a trip to South America.
He made the bet during a visit to Argentina, where he met with the Argentinian leader and talked about the benefits of cryptocurrency, encouraging him to legalize bitcoin.
The conversation covered the devaluation of the Argentinian peso and quickly escalated to a wager: if Bitcoin gets to be more valuable than the peso by 2023, Argentina's leader would declare it a national currency.
Draper said that Bitcoin would reach $250,000 between 2022 and 2023, outpacing the entire currency market by far.
"Bitcoin will own a 5% of the global currency market. This will definitely happen," Draper said.
While it is not clear if the President agreed to the bet, the venture capitalist assured journalists that the proposal was a joke.
"People are going to choose bitcoin over pesos when they see all they can do with bitcoin. That's why I made the prediction and then the bet as a joke with the President," Draper said.
The Bet On Argentina
Draper is bullish on Argentina but is worried about the President's future.
"His popularity is going down," Draper said during the panel.
The Argentinian peso is currently facing a projected 36% devaluation by the end of 2019. Macri's government also faces a public debt rise of 77 percent, the highest in Latin America. According to Draper, the solution lies in making Argentina open to investment.
"The only way to grow is to be the country all the entrepreneurs want to go to. This is one of those moments when a President can have an important impact on his country," Draper said.
On the other hand, the investor does have great expectations for the Argentinian startup industry and invested $3 million so far into Argentinian entrepreneurship.
According to Draper, a real investment in Argentina's tech infrastructure is key. He told the South American leader that the implementation of 5G wireless in the country was imperative.
"I think it's time to attract investors and venture capital to continue the progress, otherwise the status quo remains and it could lead to a collapse," Draper said.