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From Criticizing to Buying Bitcoin in Weeks: Norwegian Billionaire Joins the Club

Øystein Stray Spetalen


Earlier in March, he called bitcoin “nonsense” and criticized its energy consumption levels. A few weeks later, the Norwegian billionaire, Øystein Stray Spetalen, said he was wrong about the first-ever cryptocurrency and even bought some for himself.

Early March: Bitcoin is Nonsense

The 58-year-old Spetalen is the founder of SD Standard Drilling Plc and Standard Drilling ASA. He’s a well-renowned investor and trader who began his trading career in 9th grade.

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During a DNB Invest conference in early March, he talked about the current economic macro space and also touched upon the expanding trend of bitcoin and other digital assets. However, he didn’t have anything nice to say about the crypto industry, and BTC in particular:

“The only thing I have made an analysis of is that bitcoin today consumes as much energy as all of Norway’s energy consumption. It is extremely environmentally hostile. If one really meant anything about bitcoin, the authorities and the EU should ban this immediately. Then you cut CO2 emissions considerably.”

Øystein Stray Spetalen
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Øystein Stray Spetalen. Source: VG

He went even further and called bitcoin “nonsense.” He asserted that the currently-existing payment and financial systems operated adequately, and they didn’t need the revolutionary change promised by BTC and cryptocurrencies.

By criticizing BTC’s energy consumption levels, Spetalen joined others, such as Microsoft’s co-founder, Bill Gates.

Late March: I Was Wrong; I Bought Some BTC

Shortly after the speech he gave, Spetalen said he met with the founders of the local crypto exchange – Miraeix. They explained in detail what is bitcoin, how it works, and its differences with the traditional financial field, to which he “realized that I had been wrong.”

Additionally, he felt some competition and perhaps FOMO as another Norwegian billionaire businessman, Kjell Inge Rokke, had just established a unit dedicated to investing in BTC through his company – Aker ASA.

Spetalen noted that he saw Rokke’s bitcoin entrance and added that he “cannot bear to see that Rokke makes money, and not me.”

Ultimately, the former BTC basher joined the board of Miraeix and bought bitcoins privately.

It’s worth noting that the first-ever cryptocurrency is already accustomed to changing people’s minds. Some of the previous examples include MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, CNBC’s Jim Cramer, the so-called Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort, and more. However, in those particular cases, it took BTC years to change their opinions, while with Spetalen – it was just a matter of weeks.

Featured Image Courtesy of Ilaks

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