A Norwegian savings bank dating from the mid 1800s has just invested in a cryptocurrency exchange established by local business tycoon Bjørn Kjos.
In a press release published on the Oslo Stock Exchange, Sparebanken Øst said it had taken a 16.3 percent stake in Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) for 15 million Norwegian kronor (about $ 1,638 million).
It was revealed that NBX was in development in April last year, after being founded by Kjos and his family. Bjorn’s son, Lars Ola Kjos, apparently a Bitcoin fan, leads the operations of the exchange. The platform was launched for limited user tests in mid-August.
With Bjorn, the founder and former CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, the main Scandinavian airline is expected to join NBX to offer cryptocurrency payments for plane tickets.
In his investment announcement, Sparebanken Øst said:
“Possible collaboration with the airline Norwegian Air Shuttle, a key player with NBX, could be a platform for launching new solutions on a mass scale, and the bank sees great market potential both nationally and internationally.”
The bank added that, by supporting NBX, the exchange “will offer solutions that will equip the bank to manage the competition and future-oriented solutions for its customers.”
Bjorn Kjos image via Norwegian Air/Kristoffer Sandven