Report: Singapore's government-owned investment company now "experimenting" with bitcoin

Home » Report: Singapore's government-owned investment company now "experimenting" with bitcoin
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With around $172 billion in its portfolio, Temasek Holdings can afford to play around a little with its investments. Owned by the government of Singapore, the triple-A rated firm has a good track record for picking winners, bringing in a net income of $12.1 billion last year. The company recently opened an office in New York City this week, hoping to “seize opportunities” across the Americas in new growth sectors such as energy, healthcare, new media and technology. Not surprisingly, Temasek has also set its eyes on the same industry that Wall Street is buzzing about: Bitcoin.

In a story published by Singapore’ Today Online, new details emerged about Temasek’s “experiment” with cryptocurency. According to the report, the firm launched a company-wide program providing every employee with a small amount of bitcoin. Staffers “from driver to board member” were provided with pre-loaded bitcoin wallets and told to use the system to donate to a list of charities.

Although Temasek is owned by Singapore’s government, its experiment with bitcoin doesn’t reflect any kind of government endorsement. It does, however, hint at how such large firms may increasingly view bitcoin as an investment. For companies that are used to losing significant fractions of their profits due to middleman fees, bitcoin represents a relatively simple way to effectively boost profits.

It’s not clear if Temasek has long-term plans for bitcoin investment, although such a dedicated exercise does hint that they are preparing to move into the space in some capacity. Even a relatively humble amount of money from an institutional-level investor such at Temasek, perhaps in the $25 million range, could prove to have a significant impact on bitcoin prices. With major Wall Street players waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission to give the thumbs up to the first wave of bitcoin-backed exchange-traded funds, groups like Temasek might well provide the lift for the next period of growth.

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