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