The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has been secretly investing millions of dollars into bitcoin, according to latest leaks. While these investments were never made public, recent bankruptcy filings of lenders BlockFi and Celsius brought the positions to light.
Bhutan, known for its beautiful scenery and prioritizing well-being over economic growth, is an isolated country with an economy mostly focused on agriculture and forestry. Despite having only recently established mobile phone infrastructure and with no traffic lights yet, Bhutan has been investing millions of dollars into bitcoin over the past year.
Druk Holding & Investments, named after Bhutan’s national symbol, manages a portfolio of domestic assets, including a local cheesemaker, hydropower plants, and Royal Bhutan Airlines.
It was established in 2007 under a royal charter from King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to safeguard the wealth of Bhutan’s people for the long term.
Although described as a sovereign wealth fund, it operates more like a state-owned enterprise and oversees 21 domestic companies today. Since 2022, Druk has maintained a secret bitcoin portfolio, which was inadvertently exposed in last year’s bankruptcy proceedings at several major companies like FTX and Voyager.
While it is uncertain whether Druk’s bitcoin holdings are linked to Bhutan’s recent modernization efforts, such as a biometric digital identity platform, the revelation of its secret digital money portfolio has brought up inquiries about the reclusive nation’s involvement with the bitcoin industry.