Norwegian Billionaire Invests in Local Bitcoin Exchange

Norwegian billionaire Øystein Stray Spetalen, who recently called Bitcoin ‘non-sense’, has made an undisclosed investment in local Norwegian cryptocurrency exchange Miraiex, according to Finansavisen. Additionally, he purchased an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin.

Spetalen heavily criticized the energy-hungry infrastructure of Bitcoin in a conference held earlier this month. He pointed out that Bitcoin mining consumes more energy than the whole of Norway. Further, he suggested that the European Union should ban Bitcoin immediately.

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“It’s just nonsense,” Spetalen concluded. “We are doing well with the payment systems that are in place today.”

Took a U-Turn

However, the billionaire’s mind was changed overnight as he met the founders of Oslo-based Miraiex, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. Spetalen admitted that his view towards Bitcoin was wrong.

“When the facts change, I change,” he told the local publication. “I met the Miraiex founders Thuc and Øyvind the day after the podcast was recorded in early March and realized that I had been wrong.”

Founded in 2017, Miraiex offers trading with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and a few other cryptos. The exchange makes money by charging 0.5 percent on crypto trades and is scaling up aggressively.

His investment into the cryptocurrency economy was influenced by fellow billionaire businessman Kjell Inge Røkke’s foray into cryptocurrency who bought $58 million in Bitcoin by forming a new company called Seetee.

Moreover, Spetalen bragged that he bought Bitcoin for cheaper than Røkke.

Apparently, Spetalen is not the only one from the traditional financial industry to change views around Bitcoin. Jamie Dimon, who heads Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase, was a harsh critic of Bitcoin, but his firm is now heavily investing in decentralized infrastructure and is also bullish on Bitcoin.

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