By Steve Goldstein
Companies outside the U.S. are now following Tesla and Microstrategy in buying cryptocurrencies.
Hong Kong-listed Meitu /zigman2/quotes/209561435/delayed HK:1357 -3.63% said it purchased $22 million of bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD +0.81% and $18 million of ether /zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime ETHUSD +2.60% , in what is believed to be the first acquisition of ether by a publicly traded company. Meitu says it can buy up to $100 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
“The board believes cryptocurrencies have ample room for appreciation in value and by allocating part of its treasury in cryptocurrencies can also serve as a diversification to holding cash (which is subject to depreciation pressure due to aggressive increases in money supply by central banks globally) in treasury management. More importantly, the board considers this a demonstration to investors and stakeholders that the group has the vision and determination to embrace technological evolution, and hence preparing its foray into the blockchain industry,” the beauty apps maker said in a statement.
Aker /zigman2/quotes/208990048/delayed NO:AKER +0.15% , a Norwegian oil services company, said it has set up a subsidiary, Seetee, with 500 million kronor ($58 million) to invest in bitcoin and related blockchain services.
“In bitcoin speak, we will be hodlers,” said Kjell Inge Røkke, the chairman of Aker, referencing the acronym for hold-on-for-dear-life. “Perhaps not as rebellious as the cypherpunks who invented bitcoin. But much more progressive than most established corporates.”
Enterprise software company MicroStrategy /zigman2/quotes/202561856/composite MSTR -13.32% says it has spent over $2 billion on bitcoin, and electric-vehicle maker Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -3.95% has purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin was trading around $50,000 on Monday, and has surged over 500% in the last 12 months. Ethereum has jumped 761% over the last 52 weeks.