Bitdeer Technologies Acquires Physical Safety Vault Le Freeport for $28M

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Bitdeer Technologies Acquires Physical Safety Vault Le Freeport for $28M
Photo: Depositphotos

Bitdeer owner and Bitmain cofounder Jihan Wu purchased Le Freeport at a large discount discount to expand into physical assets.

Digital asset mining provider Bitdeer Technologies has bought maximum security vault Le Freeport for S$40 million ($28.4 million). According to a Bloomberg report, Bitdeer owner Jihan Wu purchased the Singapore-based vault in July.

The Chinese crypto billionaire Wu is trying to expand Bitdeer’s operations into the physical asset space. The Le Freeport vault is a storehouse for fine art, precious gems, as well as gold and silver bars. Jihan Wu bought the vault from shareholders led by Swiss businessman and art dealer Yves Bouvier.

The deal transpired secretly as the parties involved wanted the transaction to be private. However, Wu has now confirmed the purchase in a text response to inquiries from Bloomberg News. The acquisition is a major boost to Bitdeer’s ambition of going public via a blank check merger. A blank check merger is a company in its developmental stage with no clear business plan, or an intention to merge with or acquire another firm.

Bitdeer Purchased Le Freeport Safety Vault for Cheap

Bitdeer Technologies formed after the world’s largest mining rig manufacturer, Bitmain, split into two. Considered one of the most influential people in the crypto industry, Wu co-founded Bitmain with Micree Zhan. However, a chaotic battle between the co-founders led to a company split. Zhan decided to keep Bitmain’s design and manufacturing business and bought Wu’s share.

The S$40 million paid by Bitdeer Technologies is a lot less than the S$100 million that it cost to build the facility. As part of Singapore’s drive to attract wealth managers, luxury collectors, and bullion-trading banks, the country commissioned Freeport in 2010. According to a source referenced by Bloomberg, creditors such as DBS Group Holdings received 75% of the total price. Bouvier, who owned 70% of the vault’s total share, received nearly S$5 million from the sale, along with other shareholders, after repaying debts and settling costs.

Freeport Chief Executive Officer Lincoln Ng reassured tenants that the new owners are fully committed to supporting the Freeport Group. The CEO said the new owners would expand and improve the facilities and services.

Bitdeer to List in the US

After the separation between Zhan and Wu, the former invested in BitFuFu, a mining platform launched in December 2020. BitFuFu boasts a very close partnership with Bitmain, including benefits in sourcing equipment. The company also enjoys a close cooperation with Bitmain regarding the operation and maintenance of machines. Both miners have signed a ten-year agreement, which includes building a facility with 300 megawatts of mining capacity.

Earlier this year, BitFuFu and Bitdeer announced plans to become the first mining platforms listed on the US stock exchanges this year. The miners have similar origin stories as they both have ties to Bitmain.

Commenting on the BitFuFu and Bitdeer plan to list in the US, the head of emerging technology at China Tonghai Securities brokerage, Esme Pau, said that “Bitdeer and BitFuFu are good crypto-mining proxies with unique value propositions, giving investors exposure to the outlook for a more globalized mining industry.”

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Tolu Ajiboye
Author Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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