Digital Assets – For Today and Tomorrow

Digital Assets – For Today and Tomorrow

Bhutanese welcome DHI’s move into digital asset mining saying Bhutan should seize the opportunity

Following an article by Forbes on Druk Holding and Investments’ (DHI) foray into digital asset mining and investment, Bhutanese experts in this field and others who have been closely following the developments say that DHI’s move is not just important to sustain Bhutan today, but also significant to ensure that the country’s future is secured. Few observers also say that in order to achieve the nation’s visions, bold moves are required and that the nation should be ready to face challenges, if any.

Speaking to the paper, chief executive officer (CEO) of Royal Security Exchange of Bhutan (RSEBL), Dorji Phuntsho, said that opportunities should be seized, which DHI has done. According to Dorji, Bhutan has always been a late mover to reap the benefits of technologies and investments associated with it. “Digital assets by its nature has global accessibility and inclusiveness. Such opportunities are worth exploring for any investor,” he added.

On probable risks, Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan’s CEO said that investment in any volatile assets works on the premise of high risk high reward proposition. “How one would benefit from such investment would depend on one’s investment strategy. Since investment in digital asset is still evolving and fairly new to our part of the world; if there are opportunities  to create wealth with tangible benefits, I don’t see any reason why we should exclude ourselves,” he added.

While underlining that there are several benefits, Dorji said that the immediate gain made from trading in digital assets that can be concretely seen are returns that are ploughed back as investment in new ventures and other class of assets.

Dr. (PHD) Tshering Cigay Dorji, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Thimphu Tech Park said that as a Bhutanese citizen, people should welcome DHI’s proactive steps to not only create greater value from its investments in Bhutan, but also venture into investments in the global technology sector taking advantage of emerging technologies which drive most of global growth. “This would not only fuel Bhutan’s economic growth, but also help open up opportunities for our youth,” he said.

President of the Construction Association of Bhutan (CAB), Trashi Wangyel, who says he has been following the global trend of digital asset mining and learned a lot says he was overwhelmed with joy when he read the Forbes article. “I would say that it is a milestone for Bhutan. As expressed by others, we have not been able to take advantage of global innovations. But in this area, we have made a giant stride that would even pave the way for Bhutan to command a global position,” Trashi added. Reiterating that he has read a lot on this subject, Trashi said that what DHI is doing today is the least risk of the digital mining part. “What all Bhutanese should know is that we do not make decisions in haste. I am sure DHI knows what they are doing and must be engaging with the best experts of the world. It is an opportunity for the country,” he said, adding that Bhutan cannot and should not be left behind. “We have to move with the world,” he underlined.

Sonam Dorji, an entrepreneur based in Thimphu said that there is the potential of block-chain taking over banking and finance. “Additionally, we have comparative advantages that should be used. Everything is linked and digital asset mining opens doors for getting into the technological world,” he said. “There will be no reward if we do not dare to take calculated risks which I believe professionals at DHI are well placed to do,” he said.  

Meanwhile, contrary to what the Forbes article suggested, DHI clarified that no loses were incurred. It has also said that as the investment arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan, DHI has the sole objective of bettering the lives of the Bhutanese people today and achieving a secure future for generations to follow. DHI further stated that it manages Bhutan’s national wealth based on assets that are expected to generate steady and sustainable returns over a long-term horizon and to deliver on this goal, DHI’s team of investment professionals manages a diversified investment portfolio which holds assets across a variety of local and global asset classes and investment themes.

As with any proactive portfolio and asset allocation management strategy, DHI regularly rebalance holdings as markets evolve and opportunities arise. DHI’s portfolio contains investments across a range of asset classes that deliver exposure to traditional sectors and the industries driving the modern economy. This includes global equities, fixed income and venture capital investments in promising startups; domestic and international real estate; renewable energy including hydropower generation; healthtech, biotech, life sciences and agritech; and digital asset mining and investment.

DHI has also underlined that its future-facing investment strategy is helping to build a more connected and sustainable Bhutan by deepening local knowledge and engagement in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. At the same time, DHI is fostering relevant human capital for industries of the future, ensuring Bhutanese citizens are equipped to participate in the modern global economy from within Bhutan. For example, DHI’s investment in building the world’s first Self-Sovereign National Digital Identity platform, which was designed and built locally, represents a significant step in the country’s ongoing digital transformation and that such investments will ensure Bhutan is at the forefront of global innovation.

DHI has also said that since inception, it has achieved positive growth through maintaining a diversified and balanced investment portfolio. “Going forward, we will continue to prudently manage our portfolio with a view to steadily generating positive, long-term returns across traditional equity and fixed income assets; strategic investments such as renewable energy assets to advance Bhutan’s commitment to sustainability; and emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning systems, carbon credit platforms and the metaverse. DHI is looking to the future with utmost confidence, and is committed to investing today to deliver a better tomorrow for the people of Bhutan,” a statement from DHI reads.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu