Norwegian Holding Firm Launches Bitcoin Investment Company with Blockstream

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In Brief
  • Norwegien holding firm Aker announced the launch of Seetee, its new Bitcoin (BTC) investment unit.

  • The company will invest in BTC ecosystem projects and sees its potential as similar to the early internet.

  • Seetee will partner with blockchain technology firm Blockstream.

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In a letter to shareholders, Norwegian holding company Aker announced the launch of Seetee. Through this new company, Aker will invest in projects across the bitcoin (BTC) ecosystem.

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Seetee was established with a capitalization of NOK 500 million, with which it purchased 1,170 BTC. It will keep all of its liq­uid in­vestable as­sets in bitcoin, the letter stated.

Seetee’s Threefold Bitcoin Strategy

Seetee has a three-fold strategy, according to the letter.

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The company intends to use bitcoin as its treasury asset, and now considers itself as part of the community of “hodlers.” It described its attitude as, “per­haps not as re­bel­lious as the cypher­punks who in­vent­ed Bit­coin, but much more pro­gres­sive than most es­tab­lished cor­po­rates.” The company is already running open-source BTC payment servers.

Seetee also intends to address concerns of BTC mining’s notorious energy consumption. It will seek to “es­tab­lish min­ing op­er­a­tions that trans­fer strand­ed or in­ter­mit­tent elec­tric­i­ty with­out sta­ble de­mand lo­cal­ly to eco­nom­ic as­sets that can be used any­where.” According to the letter, the company sees BTC as “a load-bal­anc­ing eco­nom­ic bat­tery.”

Apart from these goals, it will primarily be investing in developing projects within BTC’s ecosystem. Although the company specializes in industrial applications, it also expressed interest in micropayments and designing more intuitive user interfaces.

Parallels with the Internet

Aker CEO Kjell Inge Røkke, who composed the letter, wrote at length about how his approach to BTC had developed. Through investigating what he called “competing narratives,” he came to appreciate bitcoin’s potential as being much like the early internet. 

He said that even though we take the internet’s current ubiquity for granted, it has taken 30 years to reach this point. He also highlighted the pervasive skepticism surrounding the internet’s early adoption.

BTC will likely go through different periods of development before reaching the maturity we’re now seeing with the internet. Røkke also detailed that when the internet first started being used, no one could imagine the broad application we have for it today. In his mind, this yet-unimagined potential is where BTC’s true value lies.

Partnership With Blockstream

In its efforts to develop projects in the bitcoin ecosystem, Seetee announced a partnership with blockchain technology firm Blockstream. The letter expressed confidence in Blockstream, and, in particular, in its CEO Adam Back, for developing BTC precursor Hashcash in 1997.

Earlier this year Blockstream purchased $25 million worth of BTC mining equipment. 

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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