UBS boss says bitcoins ‘not money’, urges regulators to act

Prices of the Cryptocurrency Bitcoin surged in 2017. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 December 2017
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UBS boss says bitcoins ‘not money’, urges regulators to act

GENEVA: The chairman of Swiss banking giant UBS said in an interview published Sunday that he does not consider the soaring cryptocurrency bitcoin as money and called for regulators to intervene.
Bitcoin prices have surged this year from less than $1,000 in January to $17,000 last week, after trading in the digital currency began on the Chicago Board Options Exchange — the first time it has appeared on a traditional platform.
But in an interview with the NZZ am Sonntag weekly, UBS boss Axel Weber warned investors against jumping on the bandwagon, saying the bubble would inevitably burst.
“In my opinion, bitcoins are not money,” he said, adding that the virtual currency had significant “design flaws.”
Money is meant to fulfil three main functions and bitcoins fail at all of them, he said.
The currency is not an effective means of payment since it is not universally accepted, it is not a good measure of value since prices are not written in bitcoins, and it is not an effective way to store value, since it is inherently unstable, he said.
The main problem, he said, is that with no central bank and no issuer controlling the supply, the value is determined solely by demand, which leads to “huge price fluctuations in both directions.”
UBS has decided to advise clients against investing in the virtual currency, he said, because the bank does “not consider it valuable and not sustainable.”
To protect investors who do not take the bank’s advice, “regulators are needed,” Weber said.


Bahrain LNG terminal to start commercial operations in May

Updated 25 March 2019
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Bahrain LNG terminal to start commercial operations in May

  • Bahrain LNG is the developer of the receiving and regasification terminal within the Khalifa bin Salman Port facility in Hidd

DUBAI: Bahrain’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will start commercial operations in May, with the first LNG shipment to be imported mostly from the UAE’s ADNOC, state media quoted the CEO of Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) as saying.
Bahrain LNG is the developer of the receiving and regasification terminal within the Khalifa bin Salman Port facility in Hidd, Bahrain, Bahrain LNG’s website says.
The terminal also houses an offshore LNG receiving jetty and breakwater, a regasification platform, subsea gas pipelines from the platform to shore, an onshore gas receiving facility, and an onshore nitrogen production facility, according to the website.
Bahrain’s first LNG floating storage unit is anchored in the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah port, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.
The storage unit is expected to arrive at the Hidd terminal in May, Bahrain News Agency quoted NOGA chief executive Jassem al Shirawi as saying on Monday.
The report did not specify the overall shipment amount, a small part of which Chevron will deliver later.
The terminal is more than 98 percent ready and the trial period will last only a few weeks, he told the news agency.
“Bahrain has signed agreements with more than 25 companies and gas-producing countries from around the world to import LNG,” al Shirawi was quoted as saying.
The LNG import terminal, with a capacity of 800 million cubic feet per day, will allow Bahrain to import the super-chilled fuel as demand grows for natural gas to feed large industrial projects, generate power and produce oil.