Energy company Aker ASA, which is based in Oslo, Norway has established a dedicated firm to invest in the Bitcoin ecosystem and related projects. Dubbed ‘Seetee AS,’ this new venture has a capitalization of $58 million and will invest Aker’s liquid assets in the digital currency.
Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker stated that Seetee’s launch will help the Aker Group gain industrial opportunities “that will be unlocked by Bitcoin and blockchain technology.” He further said in a statement:
These technologies [such as Bitcoin and blockchain] 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.
In a letter to investors, Chairman Kjell Inge Røkke revealed Seetee’s three-pronged approach to Bitcoin, which is already running “open-source Bitcoin payment servers.” According to Røkke, the oil and gas firm will work alongside Canadian crypto-focused firm Blockstream and other partners.
Aker Group expects Seetee to set-up mining operations even though the local government no longer offers electricity subsidies to miners. However, the group’s ambition is to be “a valuable partner in new renewable projects:”
Seetee will establish mining operations that transfer stranded or intermittent electricity without stable demand locally—wind, solar, hydro power— to economic assets that can be used anywhere. 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.
Finally, Aker is keen on micropayments and how it could enable the firm to avoid users’ personal data being monetized. Røkke further said:
I’m fascinated by the prospect of bitcoin Lightning wallets that may enable instant credit via micropayments without the need to offer personal information that my counterpart can monetise without approval or compensation.
The Chairman also was bullish on Bitcoin and expects the asset to trade for “millions of dollars.” He believed that people who “know the most about Bitcoin” believe its future success is “nearly inevitable.”