On Monday (March 8), Norwegian industrial giant Aker ASA announced that it had “established Seetee AS (‘Seetee’), a new company dedicated to investing in projects and companies throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem.”

In its press release, Aker said that Seetee, which will “keep all its liquid investable assets in bitcoin” and is “initially capitalized with NOK 500 million”, will focos on the following activities:

  • “investing in and owning bitcoin”
  • “joining the Bitcoin and broader blockchain community and establishing partnerships with leading players”
  • “launching Bitcoin verification operations”
  • “building and investing in innovation projects and companies in the Bitcoin and blockchain ecosystem”

Aker says to “accelerate its initiatives”, Seetee will “actively partner with other companies”. One of those strategic partnerships is with Blockstream. This collaboration will “initially focus on mining operations and be further developed by building on Blockstream’s unique strengths in blockchain technology and Aker’s industrial legacy and capability set.”

Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker ASA, had this to say:

With the launch of Seetee, the Aker Group makes another move into software and fintech. We are very excited about the industrial opportunities that will be unlocked by Bitcoin and blockchain technology, and want to contribute forcefully to that effort. These technologies have the potential to reduce frictions in our day to day lives, enhance the security of our digitally driven economies, and unlock new business models for innovation. We look forward to addressing these and other applications together with Blockstream and other partners.

And Adam Back, Co-founder and CEO of Blockstream, stated:

It’s exciting to see Aker dive into the Bitcoin ecosystem with enthusiasm. We will be working closely with Seetee on Bitcoin mining and sidechain projects that benefit Aker’s group of companies and we expect that their rich experience in leveraging global power infrastructure will prove to be a valuable asset to the Bitcoin industry.

In its letter to shareholders, Norwegian billionaire businessman Kjell Inge Røkke, who is the Chairman of Aker said:

I want to state up­front that I am aware that Bit­coin is of­ten crit­i­cised for a num­ber of per­ceived challenges, includ­ing its elec­tric­i­ty con­sump­tion, its in­abil­i­ty to scale with respect to trans­ac­tions, and its po­ten­tial to facilitate anony­mous il­le­git­imate pay­ments. We be­lieve that Bit­coin can be a so­lu­tion rather than a prob­lem for each of those.

He then explained why Aker had decided to get into the Bitcoin space:

Aker’s de­ci­sion to en­ter Bit­coin through See­tee is the re­sult of a long and fun­da­men­tal dis­cus­sion about value. I have been drink­ing from the firehose since last sum­mer. While this let­ter is my way of ex­press­ing my thoughts on the mat­ter, my in­sights are large­ly de­rived from read­ing ar­ticles and books, lis­ten­ing to pod­casts and watch­ing videos, as well as conver­sa­tions with peo­ple around me.

Our col­lec­tive knowl­edge was de­rived from the ex­ten­sive and bril­liant ma­te­r­i­al pro­duced by oth­ers. These include Saifedean Am­mous, An­dreas Antonopolous, Adam Back, Nic Carter, Christo­pher Cole, Ray Dalio, Michael Green, Hugh Hendry, Reid Hoff­man, Lacy Hunt, Jack Mallers, Raoul Pal, Chamath Pal­i­hapi­tiya, Antho­ny Pom­pli­ano, Pierre Rochard, Michael Say­lor, Elis­a­beth Stark, Erik Townsend, and Grant Williams.

He then went on to say that Aker had decided that not investing in Bitcoin would be the riskiest decision:

Risk is not an ob­vi­ous con­cept. What’s com­mon­ly con­sid­ered risky is frequent­ly not. And vice ver­sa. We are used to think­ing that cash is risk free. But it’s not. It’s im­plic­it­ly taxed by in­fla­tion at a small rate every year. It adds up. Cen­tral bankers have mag­i­cal­ly agreed that they should tar­get two percent in­fla­tion, which im­plies that one third of your mon­ey’s worth is taxed away every twen­ty years. If it was three per­cent, al­most half of it would be gone in that time.

He later added:

Last year, bit­coin made sig­nif­i­cant progress to­wards be­com­ing a main­stream in­vest­ment. When in­vestors with in­dis­putable track records, like Paul Tu­dor Jones and Stan­ley Druck­en­miller, dis­close that they have sig­nif­i­cant po­si­tions, every­body with a cu­ri­ous brain should pay at­tention. Com­pa­nies like Tes­la, Mass Mu­tu­al, Mi­cros­trat­e­gy, and Square have flagged po­si­tions, while Fi­deli­ty, Black­rock, Mor­gan Stan­ley, and oth­er as­set man­age­ment be­he­moths are working to launch in­vest­ment prod­ucts for cryp­tocur­ren­cies, which would make it eas­i­er for in­vestors.

We be­lieve bitcoin is go­ing to be on the right side of his­to­ry. But we should re­mind our­selves that some will re­sist force­ful­ly: Nor­way was the last coun­try in Eu­rope to adopt colour tv in 1972, sev­er­al years af­ter the tech­nol­o­gy was avail­able.

Featured Image by “petre_barlea” via Pixabay

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.