Michael Saylor Supports Crypto as Solution to Lebanese Financial Crisis

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In Brief
  • MicroStrategy CEO suggests bitcoin (BTC) could "fix" issues amid the ongoing crisis in Lebanon.

  • The Lebanese pound (LBP) reportedly hit a new low against the dollar on June 13.

  • Lebanese citizens are already turning to cryptocurrencies as an alternative investment.

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MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor has advocated bitcoin (BTC) as a solution to the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon.

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In a tweet issued on June 13, the entrepreneur remarked “If you worry the government might devalue 90% of your life savings and seize your dollars, #bitcoin fixes this.”

This comes amid reports that Lebanon’s official currency, the Lebanese pound (LBP), crashed to a new low on June 13. Reuters states at that point, the LBP was trading at 1,515 to the U.S. dollar (USD). An approximate 90% decline in its value in late 2019. 

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The country’s financial meltdown is happening in tandem with a fierce political deadlock. Since his designation in October 2020, Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri has been unable to agree with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun on cabinet formation.

Meanwhile, supplies in the country have begun to run short. Including medical supplies, plus foreign reserves subsidizing basics such as wheat and fuel.

However Michael Saylor is not the first to suggest cryptocurrency as a potential solution to the problem. On June 9, a Twitter account called The Democratic Economy, dedicated to “ongoing socio-economic conversations” shared a tweet reading:

“In light of the financial crisis and the collapse of the monetary system in Lebanon, people are looking for alternative systems to banks and solutions to the current crisis. One of the proposed scenarios is the use of digital currencies. What about Cryptocurrency?”

Earlier reports showed that Lebanese citizens were already turning to cryptocurrencies as alternative investments. In some cases, in the hope of recouping their losses amid the financial crisis. 

Saylor to increase company BTC holdings

A long-time supporter of BTC, Michael Saylor and his company MicroStrategy have significantly increased their holdings of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency this year. At last count, MicroStrategy itself owns 92,079 BTC. And the company purchased more than 20,000 of those coins in Q1 2021. However, Saylor admitted that his total BTC holdings exceed 111,000.

Recent reports also indicate that MicroStrategy has no plans to stop there. The business intelligence company announced on June 8 that it had set the price of its offering of “$500 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes.”

They had previously announced the bond price as $400 million. 

Both Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy confirmed the proceeds from these bonds, expected to generate around $488 million, will go towards the purchase of more BTC. 

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Dale Hurst is a journalist, presenter, and novelist. Before joining the Be In Crypto team, he was an editor and senior journalist at a news, lifestyle and human-interest magazine in the UK. Cryptocurrency was one of the first subjects he specialized in when first going freelance in 2018, reviewing exchanges and analysing lawsuits.

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