In brief

  • Norway’s government invested in software company MicroStrategy with its pension fund.
  • MicroStrategy owns hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin.
  • This means Norway’s citizens now all own a tiny bit of the cryptocurrency.

Every Norwegian now owns some Bitcoin—albeit indirectly and a tiny amount. 

This is because the Norwegian government's pension fund holds a 2% stake in US software company, MicroStrategy, and MicroStrategy just bought a lot of Bitcoin (around $425 million.) So, every Norwegian citizen now indirectly owns $1.72 of the cryptocurrency—without even knowing it. 

Norway’s government owns the so-called "Oil Fund," which with $1 trillion in assets is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. 

The state-owned Oil Fund owns assets around the world and the stake in MicroStrategy makes up only a tiny part of the pie.  

But because of its choice to invest in a tech company, the government has indirectly invested in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency (or rather, exposing its citizens to the whims of the cryptocurrency market). 

Torkel Rogstad, a Norwegian software developer at crypto-research firm Arcane, created a calculator to track it. He told Decrypt that the government indirectly owning Bitcoin could set an interesting precedent. 

“Government seeks to maximize profits, and through that they picked up some bitcoin exposure,” he said. “I expect them to get growing bitcoin exposure going forward, through more companies buying Bitcoin.” 

He added: “Down the road, maybe governments would buy bitcoin directly? Not surprising if that happens, as governments now hold gold.”

The Norwegian government isn’t even that Bitcoin-friendly. In 2018, the country’s government ended electricity subsidies for Bitcoin miners.