Bhutan’s Tiny Kingdom Secretly Held Millions of Dollars in Bitcoin.
According to recent leaks, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has been secretly investing millions of dollars in bitcoin. While these investments were never made public, recent bankruptcy filings by lenders BlockFi and Celsius revealed them.
Bhutan, known for its beautiful scenery and emphasis on well-being over economic growth, is a remote country with a primarily agricultural and forestry-based economy. Bhutan has been investing millions of dollars in bitcoin over the last year, despite having only recently established mobile phone infrastructure and no traffic lights.
Druk Holding & Investments, named after Bhutan’s national symbol, manages a domestic asset portfolio that includes a local cheesemaker, hydropower plants, and Royal Bhutan Airlines.
It was founded in 2007 by a royal charter from King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to safeguard the Bhutanese people’s wealth for the long term.
Although it is referred to as a sovereign wealth fund, it operates more like a state-owned enterprise and currently manages 21 domestic companies. Druk has kept a secret bitcoin portfolio since 2022, which was accidentally revealed in last year’s bankruptcy proceedings at several major companies, including FTX and Voyager.
While it is unclear whether Druk’s bitcoin holdings are related to Bhutan’s recent modernization efforts, such as a biometric digital identity platform, the disclosure of the country’s secret digital money portfolio has sparked interest in the country’s involvement with the bitcoin industry.