The Kingdom of Bhutan’s sovereign investment arm, Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), has quietly built up a crypto portfolio worth millions of dollars without disclosing it to the public. DHI is a commercial arm of the royal government of Bhutan and is estimated to manage around $2.9 billion in assets.
According to a report released by Forbes, DHI’s crypto investments were brought to light following the crypto contagion in 2022 when companies like Celsius and BlockFi filed for bankruptcy. A Celsius filing showed that DHI withdrew over $65 million and deposited almost $18 million in crypto.
BlockFi lawyers filed a complaint against DHI to reclaim outstanding assets, alleging that the fund defaulted on its $30 million loan in March. BlockFi claimed that DHI refused to repay the loan in full after liquidating the 1,888 Bitcoin (BTC) collateral, worth $76.5 million at the time.
DHI CEO Ujjwal Deep Dahal said in a statement to Forbes that the issue with BlockFi is confidential and highlighted that the “matter with BlockFi has been settled.” However, the exact terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Celsius and BlockFi were two of the most prominent bankruptcy filings within the crypto space in 2022. On July 14, crypto lending platform Celsius filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, also known as a bankruptcy filing. Since then, the embattled crypto lender has been dealing with bankruptcy proceedings and is working on a restructuring plan. On Nov. 28, BlockFi also filed for bankruptcy after being affected by the infamous collapse of the FTX exchange.
Bhutan is a small landlocked country in South Asia, located in the eastern Himalayas. The country is known for its Gross National Happiness index, which measures the well-being of its citizens instead of just economic growth. Bhutan has been gradually opening up to the world in recent years, with a focus on sustainable development and environmentally friendly policies.
The news of Bhutan’s crypto investments is a reminder of the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies among governments and institutional investors. While many countries have been skeptical of cryptocurrencies and have implemented strict regulations, others have embraced them as a way to diversify their portfolios and hedge against inflation.
In recent years, countries like China, Russia, and Iran have explored the use of cryptocurrencies for international trade, while other countries like El Salvador and Ukraine have adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. The growing interest in cryptocurrencies from governments and institutional investors is expected to continue in the coming years, as the crypto market matures and becomes more mainstream.
In conclusion, Bhutan’s sovereign investment fund’s decision to invest millions in cryptocurrencies highlights the increasing interest in digital assets among governments and institutional investors. While the exact size and composition of DHI’s crypto portfolio remain undisclosed, the news is a reminder of the growing importance of cryptocurrencies in the global financial system. As the crypto market continues to evolve and mature, it is likely that more countries and institutional investors will follow Bhutan’s lead and invest in digital assets.