Just over a week ago, Spetalen was passionately opposed to cryptocurrencies.
Nine days ago, billionaire investor Øystein Stray Spetalen used his platform at the DNB Invest conference to denounce Bitcoin as a “nonsense currency.” He has now not only bought his own stash of the coin, but has also invested in Norway’s largest Bitcoin exchange, MiraiEx, according to the Norwegian publication Finansavisen.
In a pre-recorded video interview at the DNB conference on March 18, Spetalen expressed concern about Bitcoin’s carbon footprint: “Bitcoin today consumes as much energy as all of Norway. It is extremely hostile to the environment. The authorities and the The EU should ban it immediately. Then CO2 emissions would be significantly reduced. ” And he continued: “It’s silly. We are doing well with current payment systems.”
However, in the interview with Finansavisen Spetalen dropped the bomb that he now owns part of the Norwegian crypto exchange MiraiEx: “When the facts change, I change. I met the founders of MiraiEx, Thuc and Øyvind, the day after the podcast recording, early March, and I realized I was wrong. And when I also read that [Norwegian industrial mogul and also billionaire] Kjell Inge Røkke had gotten into Bitcoin, it was pretty obvious. I can’t bear that Røkke makes money and I don’t, “Spetalen said, in a multi-million dollar FOMO attack.
Competitive Bitcoin Whales
In early March, Kjell Inge Røkke, who rose to corporate fame after buying enough shares in offshore fishing, engineering and construction company Aker ASA to become its largest shareholder, launched the Seetee company as a cryptocurrency trading subsidiary. from Aker ASA, making an initial Bitcoin purchase of NOK 500 million.
Spetalen admitted to Finansavisen that he has also bought Bitcoin, but that he owns less than Røkke. Spetalen now joins the MiraiEx board of directors. In December, the platform raised NOK 5 million in an investment round led by Oslo-based venture capital firm Skyfall Ventures.
Like Spetalen, Norway itself has given mixed signals about Bitcoin. On Tuesday, Oystein Olsen, governor of the Norges Bank, echoed Spetalen’s earlier position when he called Bitcoin “too resource intensive” and “too expensive” to replace cash in the country, largely no cash.
By contrast, each Norwegian citizen has nominal stakes of 26,720 satoshi, or just over $ 15, in Bitcoin, thanks to the government pension fund buying stakes in institutional Bitcoin hoarders like Tesla, MicroStrategy and Square.
Øystein Stray Spetalen has officially surpassed Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, in the title of the fastest lap in the history of cryptocurrencies.