A recent report reveals that Druk Holding & Investments (DHI), the business division of Bhutan’s Royal Government, is exploring crypto initiatives to enhance its portfolio expansion. DHI recently teamed up with Singapore-based crypto company Bitdeer to “jointly develop green digital asset mining operations in the Kingdom of Bhutan.”
Bhutan’s DHI Executive Says the Kingdom Is ‘Focusing on the New Generation of Industries’
On May 20, 2023, the Financial Times (FT) disclosed that DHI is highly interested in crypto asset ventures and enterprises. The FT journalist elaborates that DHI has been experimenting with investments connected to bitcoin (BTC) mining and drone technology. The article cites DHI’s CEO, Ujjwal Deep Dahal, who informed FT that Bhutan is “focusing on the new generation of industries.”
The article also highlights the current collaboration between the publicly-traded bitcoin mining company Bitdeer, announced in early May. DHI’s CEO remarked that “partnering with Bitdeer to launch a carbon-free digital asset mining datacenter represents an investment in a more connected and sustainable domestic economy, helping ensure we are at the forefront of global innovation.” At the time, Bitdeer’s chairman and former Bitmain CEO, Jihan Wu, stated:
We are thrilled to join forces with DHI in harnessing Bhutan’s zero-emission energy to sustainably empower blockchain technologies, which will ultimately serve as an unchangeable foundation for a worldwide store of value.
In essence, Bitdeer and DHI aim to introduce a closed-end fund with an estimated value of up to $500 million. The announcement specified that the fund’s fundraising objectives will commence by late May. Both parties intend to establish a 100-megawatt (MW) bitcoin mining facility in Bhutan. “The partnership will enable Bitdeer to tap into Asia’s abundant resources, contributing to the flourishing regional ecosystem,” according to the announcement.
As per the FT report, Hashrate Index executive Jaran Mellerud informed the publication that Bhutan could potentially become “the biggest bitcoin miner per capita in the world.” Moreover, while the 2022 crypto winter was brutal for bitcoin miners, Dahal opined that the mining sector was less hazardous. “We’re sticking largely to the mining sector which seems to be the least risky vertical,” DHI’s CEO revealed.
In 2021, DHI managed $3 billion in assets as it held and oversaw the government’s commercial businesses. These investments encompass international real estate, global equities, and startup ventures. The firm believes that bitcoin mining operations and other technologies exemplify DHI’s “future-facing investment strategy.” In mid-April 2023, an intriguing revelation surfaced regarding the Himalayan kingdom’s discreet involvement in cryptocurrency investments through Celsius and Blockfi.
Forbes uncovered that DHI’s name was mentioned in the bankruptcy filings of both companies, yet the CEO of DHI refrained from commenting on the matter during that period. Dahal, the CEO, responded, “We do not have any comments as the matter with Blockfi has been settled. We are not able to comment due to confidentiality.”
What are your thoughts on Bhutan’s strategic foray into crypto investments and its partnership with Bitdeer to develop green digital asset mining operations? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.