Norwegian billionaire: from bitcoin critic to crypto exchange investor
Norwegian billionaire investor Øystein Stray Spetalen changed his stance on cryptocurrencies this month and is now on the board of crypto exchange MiraiEx.
Norwegian billionaire investor Øystein Stray Spetalen called Bitcoin (BTC) a „nonsense currency“ earlier this month. Now he announced that he is a board member at Norway’s leading crypto exchange MiraiEx.
Spetalen has previously stated that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should be banned by Norwegian and European authorities „immediately“ because mining has a Crypto Bank destructive effect on the environment. In a pre-recorded interview shown at the DNB Invest conference on 18 March, he said:
„Bitcoin today consumes as much energy as the whole of Norway. It is extremely anti-environmental. The authorities and the EU should ban it immediately. Then you would reduce CO2 emissions significantly. This is simply nonsense. We are doing fine with the payment systems we have today.“
But on 26 March, Spetalen had shown a different attitude in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Finansavisen
„If the facts change, I change,“ he said. „I met MiraiEx founders Thuc and Øyvind the day after recording the podcast from early March and I realised I was wrong.“
Norwegian cryptocurrency exchange and custodian MiraiEx recently raised the equivalent of $580,000 to further expand its operations. As well as investing in and becoming a board member of a successful local exchange, Spetalen has now apparently bought bitcoin. However, he has a smaller amount than Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke bought. Speaking about his investment in the top cryptocurrency, Spetalen also explained:
„So when I also read that Kjell Inge Røkke got into Bitcoin, it was quite obvious. I can’t stand that Røkke is making money and not me.“
Røkke is chairman of the board of industrial holding company Aker ASA. Earlier this year in March, the company set up a separate division to invest in projects and companies in the bitcoin ecosystem. The equivalent of $58.6 million was initially invested in the department. The plan is to hold all liquid investable assets in Bitcoin.
It was also recently revealed that the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, also known as the Oil Fund and the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, indirectly owns almost 600 Bitcoin. This came about through its investment holdings.