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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