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Bhutan is a small country lodged between India, Nepal, and China on the continent of Asia. Its biggest claims to fame are its architecture, its vast open landscapes… and the big crypto stash that the nation has allegedly been hiding from the world all this time.
Bhutan Has Been Hiding a Lot of Crypto
Bhutan is a miniscule and obscure nation. It also doesn’t appear to have all the technological advancements of its neighbors. The region only began supporting cell phone usage about 20 years ago, and in many areas, traffic lights are still absent or in the process of being put up. One wouldn’t assume that a country like Bhutan would be all that into crypto or the technology that supports it, but new court documents suggest otherwise.
These papers revealed that the sovereign investment arm of Bhutan was a big customer of both Block Fi and Celsius, two crypto lending platforms that went bust in 2022 (arguably the most bearish year on record for the crypto industry). The losses of the nation were never disclosed up until now. It is estimated that this investment division is worth just shy of $3 billion, meaning the country has more money stashed away than it’s been letting on all this time.
The investment firm is known as Druk Holding & Investments. It’s believed the institution has been accumulating crypto since 2022, which is interesting because while the country was clearly able to gather millions of dollars in digital currency units over the course of a single year, it clearly chose the worst time to do so given how badly everything crashed during that time.
Right now, Druk says it’s sworn to secrecy about the matter of how much it’s lost, though it did say it engaged in a court battle with Block Fi that has since been settled. It’s not known how the money accumulated nor what the company was planning to do with all the funds. Druk’s CEO Ujjwal Deep Dahal commented in an interview:
We do not have any comments as the matter with Block Fi has been settled. We are not able to comment due to confidentiality.
Duncan Bonfield – chief executive of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds – also threw his two cents into the mix, stating:
We have seen no real interest in cryptocurrency as an asset class, and we do not believe any of our members have an allocation to crypto in their portfolios.
You Couldn’t Even Visit
Bhutan is a relative newcomer to “modern society” and visitors in many ways. The nation could not be traveled to until 1974, and that only occurred as a means of building its economy through tourism.
Prior to that, the nation had fallen victim to a pandemic that prohibited all foreigners from entering.