In just a week after dismissing Bitcoin as a nonsense currency, the Norwegian billionaire Stray Spetalen has withdrawn from his earlier position; he is now a fan and an investor in the leading cryptocurrency. Recently, while addressing an audience at a conference, Spetalen expressed his great concern about the “monumental environmental risk” posed by Bitcoin to the world in general. He stated that Bitcoin is too energy-consuming and resource-intensive. He has now shifted from his earlier stance and become a board member of the biggest crypto exchange in Norway.
Spetalen has previously called Bitcoin a useless currency
Last week, Spetalen, while stating his stance via DNB Invest meeting, condemned bitcoin, saying it is a nonsense currency. But apart from withdrawing his earlier statement, he has also become a big investor in Bitcoin and a member of MiraiEx, the biggest Bitcoin exchange in Norway. This revelation was made known by Finansavisen, Norway’s local newspaper.
In an interview earlier this month, the billionaire investor said he was worried about Bitcoin’s carbon emissions. He said the amount of energy consumed by Bitcoin is as huge as Norway’s energy consumption, so the digital currency is not environmentally friendly. He then advised the EU and regulatory bodies to ban it immediately to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions to the barest minimum. “It is just nonsense,” he said, adding that the world is doing better with fiat currencies in circulation.
But in a surprising twist during his interview with Finansavisen, Spetalen disclosed that he is now a co-owner of MiraiEx, a Norway-based crypto exchange. In his statement, he admitted that whenever he is confronted with facts, he accepts and changes his position immediately. He narrated how he came across the owners of MiraiEx just 24 hours after he publicly denounced Bitcoin this month.
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Spetalen’s discussion with MiraiEx’s founders changed his thought
After a thorough discussion with MiraiEx’s founders, he acknowledged his wrong disposition towards Bitcoin. Besides, he later learned that Inge Røkke, another Norwegian billionaire, is also a Bitcoin investor. Then, he became convinced that the crypto world is real. In his word, “I can’t stand aside looking at Røkke making money without making mine.” In March, Inge Røkke, a wealthy Norwegian, grabbed the headlines when he bought a large number of shares in Aker ASA, a company that is into engineering, construction, and fishing.
Røkke is now the largest shareholder of the firm. After that, Røkke inaugurated Seetee to be the subsidiary of the parent company, Aker ASA. He has now invested 500 million Norwegian krone into Bitcoin. However, Spetalen, who is now sitting as a board member of MiraiEx, acknowledged that although he is now a Bitcoin investor, Røkke has a higher Bitcoin stake than his. Even Norway has not been consistent with its stance on Bitcoin. Last week, Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen dismissed Bitcoin as a currency that is too expensive to manage and can’t replace the fiat currency or cashless society. Olsen stated that while Norway remains the most cashless country worldwide, Bitcoin can’t replace the fiat currency.