Norwegian energy giant Aker forms bitcoin unit, billionaire owner says BTC could be worth 'millions of dollars'

Quick Take

  • Norway-based oil and gas giant Aker has formed a new unit dedicated to investing in bitcoin and related projects.
  • Aker chairman Kjell Inge Røkke said, “bit­coin may still go to zero,” but it could be worth “mil­lions of dollars” one day.

Norway-based oil and gas giant Aker has established a new unit dedicated to investing in bitcoin and related projects in the ecosystem.

The unit, Seetee, has a cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of 500 mil­lion Norwegian kroner (around $58 million) and will keep its liquid assets in bitcoin, Aker announced Monday.

"We aim to in­crease [the capitalization] sig­nif­i­cant­ly over time as we gain ex­pe­ri­ence and iden­ti­fy ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties," said Aker chairman Kjell Inge Røkke in a letter to shareholders hosted on Seetee's website. Røkke is a billionaire investor and one of the top 10 richest men in Norway.

See­tee's strat­e­gy is three­fold. It will invest in bit­coin as its trea­sury as­set, invest in bitcoin projects and companies, and set up bitcoin mining operations. To that end, See­tee has also partnered with industry firm Blockstream to navigate the space.

As for its investments, See­tee could particularly back projects focused on mi­cro­pay­ments since Røkke is interested in them. "I'm fas­ci­nat­ed by the prospect of bitcoin Light­ning wal­lets that may en­able in­stant cred­it via mi­cro­pay­ments with­out the need to of­fer per­son­al in­for­ma­tion that my coun­ter­part can mon­e­tise with­out ap­proval or com­pen­sa­tion," said Røkke.

The billionaire investor appears to be betting big on bitcoin. He said, "bit­coin may still go to zero," but it can also become "the core of a new mon­e­tary ar­chi­tec­ture. If so, one bit­coin may be worth mil­lions of dollars."

The establishment of See­tee is the re­sult of a "long and fun­da­men­tal dis­cus­sion about val­ue," said Røkke, who believes bitcoin is superior to cash and is even better than gold.

"We are used to think­ing that cash is risk-free. But it's not," he said. "It's im­plic­it­ly taxed by in­fla­tion at a small rate every year. It adds up." As for bitcoin vs. gold, he said: "Bit­coin is like gold, but bet­ter."

"Peo­ple who know the most about bit­coin be­lieve its fu­ture suc­cess is near­ly in­evitable. Where­as the oth­er camp thinks that its fail­ure is equal­ly cer­tain. Sta­tus quo is not pos­si­ble," Røkke concluded.

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