Gold trader gets Dubai license to trade and store cryptocurrencies

A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Gold trader gets Dubai license to trade and store cryptocurrencies

DUBAI: Gold trader Regal RA DMCC has become the first company in the Middle East to be awarded a license by the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) to trade in cryptocurrencies.
The license allows the company to store bitcoin, ethereum and other alternatives to the best-known digital currencies in a vault located in the headquarters of the commodities free zone, DMCC said in a statement on Tuesday.
The vault will have no connection to a network and physical devices are fully insured for the crypto-commodities market value against theft, hacking or natural disaster, it said. Crypto-commodities are those that trade in bitcoin.
Cybertheft is seen as a major risk for bitcoin trading, highlighted by last month’s heist of about $530 million from a Tokyo-based exchange, a theft rivalling Mt. Gox’s as one of the biggest for digital currency.
There have been increasingly loud warnings around the world about the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies, which remain largely unregulated.
However, Regal RA DMCC’s announcement came as the regulator of Abu Dhabi’s international financial center said this week it could create rules for exchanges handling virtual currencies, in a sign that authorities in the UAE may allow trade in cryptocurrencies to develop.
Regal RA DMCC is a subsidiary of Regal Assets, an alternative asset firm which has offices in the United States, Canada and the UAE.
Dubai is a major hub for gold trading, thanks to its proximity to the world’s largest gold consumer, India.
“At the heart of DMCC’s long term strategic growth plan is the use of technology and innovation to disrupt and connect new markets, industries and customers,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, many regulators are wary of cryptocurrencies. The Saudi Arabian central bank has advised people not to trade bitcoin, and last week, Qatar’s central bank told banks not to deal in any way with cryptocurrencies.


German economy defies trade gloom with strong growth

Updated 5 min 43 sec ago
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German economy defies trade gloom with strong growth

  • Germany’s economy, Europe’s biggest, grew by 0.5 percent compared with the previous three-month period
  • Economists had forecast a 0.4 percent increase this time

BERLIN: The German economy accelerated in the second quarter despite the US move to impose new tariffs on Europe, official data showed Tuesday, performing slightly better than economists had expected.
Germany’s economy, Europe’s biggest, grew by 0.5 percent compared with the previous three-month period. That is up from 0.4 percent in the first quarter — a figure that was revised upward Tuesday from the initial reading of 0.3 percent given in May. Economists had forecast a 0.4 percent increase this time.
Its performance in the April-June period was helped by higher private and government spending and by increased investment in equipment and construction, the Federal Statistical Office said. Rising exports were outpaced by increasing imports.
The figure underlined the German economy’s continuing robust performance, with business confidence high and unemployment low despite some disappointing data on factory orders this year and concern about global trade tensions.
It has now grown for 34 of the past 37 quarters, said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING in Frankfurt, but he cautioned that “the challenges facing the German economy will increase rather than decrease.”
Those include the specter of a possible escalation of trade tensions, despite a recent deal to defuse a US-European Union dispute, geopolitical risks such as that posed by events in Turkey and a shortfall in investment and structural reforms at home, he said.
In year-on-year terms, the economy expanded by 2.3 percent in the second quarter.