Balaji Closes Bitcoin Bet With $1.5M in Donations, Including $500K for Bitcoin Core Development

Balaji Srinivasan on Tuesday said his $1 million bet on bitcoin (BTC) has been closed out ahead of time, and he has donated $1.5 million ($500,000 more than required) to three different entities as settlement.

The former chief technology officer at crypto exchange Coinbase and a former partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Srinivasan in mid-March – shortly after the failures in short order of Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank – said he expected a banking crisis to trigger a sizable devaluation of the U.S. dollar, hyperinflation, and a surge in bitcoin to $1 million by mid-June. He put up $1 million to back his prediction.

“I just burned a million to tell you they’re printing trillions,” he tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “I spent my own money to send a provably costly signal that there’s something wrong with the economy, and that it’s not going to be a ‘soft landing’ like Powell promises – but something much worse.”

He noted that the current U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was at the Federal Reserve ahead of the 2008 küresel financial crisis and failed to sound any alarms, nor did the then-chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke. Today’s crop of leaders, Fed Chair Jerome Powell among them, argued Srinivasan, are similarly in denial.

Crises, he reminded, can move far more quickly than anyone imagines. Srinivasan claimed that it took 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, two months to go from patient zero to national lockdown during Covid, two quarters to go from mild recession to financial crisis in 2008 and two years for the Soviet Union to go from superpower to collapse in 1991.

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

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Edited by Marc Hochstein.

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