Norwegian billionaire who called for a Bitcoin ban turns into an investor

  • Norwegian billionaire Spetalen criticized Bitcoin for its alleged negative environmental footprint has now turned into an investor.
  • Spetalen’s decision was influenced by Kjell Inge Røkke who founded Seetee some weeks ago. 

Øystein Stray Spetalen has quickly changed his opinion on Bitcoin. In just a few days, the Norwegian-born investor and billionaire went from criticizing Bitcoin’s network to owning one of his country’s largest crypto exchanges MiraiEx.

According to a report from Finansavisen, Spetalen participated in the DNB conference. The investor sent a video recorded earlier this month in which he demanded the European Union authorities to ban Bitcoin. Spetalen’s argument was that the cryptocurrency emits a “considerable amount of CO₂,” consuming more energy than his country.

This argument has been used many times by Bitcoin critics and disproved with data from multiple studies and research. However, the investor claimed that a Bitcoin ban would “reduce carbon emissions considerably.” Spetalen added:

It’s just nonsense. We’re doing well with the payment systems that are in place today.

Buying Bitcoin to stay in the race

However, the billionaire proved to be very flexible with a receptive mind to change. He revealed to the news outlet that he reversed his opinion on the cryptocurrency a few days after the criticism was made public. Not being content with just doing an u-turn on his personal view, he went right ahead and bought MiraiEx.

The exchange closed a funding round a few months ago, led by the firm Skyfall Ventures. Spetalen’s main motivation for buying Bitcoin was the entry of another Norwegian investor into the crypto market, Kjell Inge Røkke, he revealed.

When the facts change, I change. I met the MiraiEx founders Thuc and Øyvind the day after the podcast was recorded, early in March, and I realized that I had been wrong. And when I also read that (a Norwegian billionaire) Kjell Inge Røkke had got into Bitcoin, it was quite obvious. I can’t bear to see that Røkke makes money and not me.

As reported by CNF, Kjell Inge Røkke is a major shareholder in Norwegian investment giant Aker. In March this year, he founded the company Seetee which aims to run a Bitcoin payment server and contribute to renewable BTC mining operations. In a letter published by Røkke, the billionaire argued something completely opposite to Spetalen’s initial criticism:

Bitcoin is in our eyes, a load-balancing economic battery, and batteries are essential to the energy transition required to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement. Our ambition is to be a valuable partner in new renewable projects.

About Author

Reynaldo Marquez has closely followed the growth of Bitcoin and blockchain technology since 2016. He has since worked as a columnist on crypto coins covering advances, falls and rises in the market, bifurcations and developments. He believes that crypto coins and blockchain technology will have a great positive impact on people's lives.

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