US becomes largest bitcoin mining center after China crackdown: Market wrap

US becomes largest bitcoin mining center after China crackdown: Market wrap
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Updated 13 October 2021

US becomes largest bitcoin mining center after China crackdown: Market wrap

US becomes largest bitcoin mining center after China crackdown: Market wrap

RIYADH: The US has overtaken China to account for the largest share of bitcoin mining in the world, according to data released by Britain’s Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance on Wednesday.

China’s share of the power of computers connected to the global bitcoin network, known as the “hash rate,” had fallen to zero by July from 44 percent in May, and from as much as 75 percent in 2019, the data showed.

Miners elsewhere have taken up the slack, with mining rig manufacturers shifting their attention to North America and Central Asia, and larger Chinese miners moving as well, though this process is fraught with logistical difficulties.

As a result, the US now accounts for the largest share of mining, some 35.4 percent of the global hash rate as of the end of August, followed by Kazakhstan and Russia.

Use of Chinese yuan

Binance, one of the world’s largest exchange by trading volumes, will stop the use of the Chinese yuan on its peer-to-peer trading platform, the latest move by major global cryptocurrency exchanges to cut their ties with mainland Chinese investors following an intense crackdown on the sector.

It will remove the Chinese yuan section of its consumer-to-consumer platform on Dec. 31 this year, and mainland Chinese users will have their accounts switched to “withdraw only mode,” Binance said in a statement.

Binance’s origins lie in China, though it emphasized in a statement that it withdrew from mainland China in 2017, the time of a previous regulatory crackdown.

Also on Wednesday, OKEX, another major cryptocurrency exchange with its origins in China said in a statement it had shifted its core business to international markets since 2017 and stopped promoting and providing services to the mainland China market.

Regulation

Regulators need to work quickly to put in place a set of rules for cryptocurrencies, given the sector’s rapid growth and the time it takes to agree on new standards, Bank of England Deputy Gov. Jon Cunliffe said on Wednesday.

“Regulators internationally and in many jurisdictions have begun the work. It needs to be pursued as a matter of urgency,” Cunliffe said in a speech at the SIBOS conference.

Last week, global regulators suggested that the safeguards they apply systemic clearing houses and payment systems should also be applied to stablecoins.

“It took two years to draft this measure, during which stablecoins have grown 16-fold,” Cunliffe said.  

 

Trading

Bitcoin fell by 2.04 percent to $55,698.90 at 5:41 p.m. Riyadh time on Wednesday while Ether traded at $3,492.32, down by 0.44 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.

“Current market cap of Bitcoin reaches 1 trillion once again, while approaching $55,000 and more,” Abdullah Mashat, managing director of a private Saudi retail company, told Arab News.

“Price movement showed again exceeding 50 percent in the past 3 months following recovery from the mining ban in China which affected more than two-third of the Bitcoin network,” he said.

 

 

 

 


France’s Natixis to finance $2bn ACWA Power projects in 2 years

France’s Natixis to finance $2bn ACWA Power projects in 2 years
Updated 9 sec ago

France’s Natixis to finance $2bn ACWA Power projects in 2 years

France’s Natixis to finance $2bn ACWA Power projects in 2 years
  • The MoU will allow both parties to “explore opportunities to develop new projects in the region”

RIYADH: France-based Natixis Corporate and Investment Banking has signed an agreement to finance ACWA Power projects over the next two years - with funding of up to $2 billion. 

The MoU will allow both parties to “explore opportunities to develop new projects in the region,” the Saudi clean energy provider said in a bourse filing. 

Natixis has previously underwritten some of ACWA Power’s high-profile projects, including the Sakaka solar project. 


Tadawul IPO 442.53% oversubscribed to reach $1.3bn

Tadawul IPO 442.53% oversubscribed to reach $1.3bn
Updated 25 min 1 sec ago

Tadawul IPO 442.53% oversubscribed to reach $1.3bn

Tadawul IPO 442.53% oversubscribed to reach $1.3bn
  • The stock exchange group was offering 10.8 million shares to individual investors

RIYADH: The individual subscribers tranche of Tadawul’s initial public offering was 442.53 percent oversubscribed with a total demand of SR5.02 billion ($1.3 billion). 

The stock exchange group was offering 10.8 million shares to individual investors, or 30 percent of the total offer shares at a final price of SR105. 

Around 598,327 subscribers participated in the period, which started on Nov. 30.


Egypt to launch natural gas-powered bus fleet in 2022

Egypt to launch natural gas-powered bus fleet in 2022
Updated 05 December 2021

Egypt to launch natural gas-powered bus fleet in 2022

Egypt to launch natural gas-powered bus fleet in 2022

CAIRO: Egypt will launch its first fleet of buses powered by natural gas next year, Minister of Public Enterprise Hisham Tawfik has said.

About 70 percent of the components used in the manufacturing of the buses will be sourced locally, in cooperation with several Egyptian companies, he said.

Tawfiq said that the fleet will include buses that can accommodate 14 to 50 passengers, and that the goal of the project is to localize technology and transport production.

“Our strategy is to work in the production of environmentally friendly vehicles, whether they run on natural gas or electricity,” he added.

A delegation from the Belarusian Minsk Automobile Plant signed a contract to supply production materials for the project.

Production is expected to begin in mid-2022, with a target of 250 buses completed per year.

Tawfiq welcomed cooperation with the Belarusian side, especially in light of the distinguished relations between the two countries, which have developed significantly in recent years.


PIF offers 100m shares in stc in secondary public offering

PIF offers 100m shares in stc in secondary public offering
Updated 05 December 2021

PIF offers 100m shares in stc in secondary public offering

PIF offers 100m shares in stc in secondary public offering

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (selling shareholder) and stc on Sunday announced the launch of a secondary public offering of stc’s ordinary shares, Argaam reported.

“The potential transaction is in line with the PIF’s strategy to recycle its capital to new investments,” the fund said in an earlier statement. 

A total of 10.02 million shares will be allocated to retail subscribers.

The offering comprises a fully marketed secondary public offering of 100.2 million stc shares, representing 5.01 percent of its share capital

The price range has been set between SR100 and SR116 per share. The final offer price will announced on Dec. 10.

Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia, HSBC Saudi Arabia, Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia and SNB Capital are acting as joint financial advisers for STC and joint global coordinators for STC and PIF. The Citigroup Saudi Arabia and Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia are acting as joint bookrunners, according to a bourse filing.


Bitcoin continues to decline from its high in November: Crypto wrap

Bitcoin continues to decline from its high in November: Crypto wrap
Updated 05 December 2021

Bitcoin continues to decline from its high in November: Crypto wrap

Bitcoin continues to decline from its high in November: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, plunged around 30 percent from the year’s high of $69,000 on Nov. 10.

It, however, traded higher on Sunday, rising by 2.82 percent to $48,972 at 5:14 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most popular cryptocurrency, traded at $4,140 up 4.16 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.

“Corrections and declines do occur in almost all markets including crypto. The current decline is considered the largest in terms of market value since the late March 2020 decline,” Abdullah Mashat, managing director of a private Saudi retail company told Arab News.

Mashat said: “Current decline is due to investors being concerned of tapering talks in the US, which resulted in the decline in stock exchanges and later this caused liquidity crunch in the crypto markets."

Anto Paroian, COO at crypto hedge fund ARK36 said: “The market sentiments  have decisively soured as a result of deepening concerns about omicron variant and its (likely) effect on the economy. The current situation resembles closely what happened in March 2020 as we’re seeing equities plunge 5 percent off recent highs and the negativity is spreading to other markets as well including the digital asset markets. 

“On the other hand, the current price levels aren’t unexpected after the bulls failed to flip the $60,000 resistance multiple times in the past few weeks. During previous Bitcoin bull markets violent swings of 20-30 percent happened a few times before the market topped and let’s remember what happened in July - and how well the market rebounded afterward."

 "It must be noted, though, that one of the key Bitcoin bull market indicators — the 20-week simple moving average — has now been decisively breached so the outlook is currently bearish in the short to medium term. What’s more, since there are widespread expectations that interest rates will rise as central banks are signaling a more aggressive stance on inflation, the violent price move in the digital asset market may also suggest that some investors are preparing to go into a risk-off mode for the time being," Paroian added.

Meanwhile, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said the Central American country had acquired an additional 150 bitcoins after the digital currency’s value slumped again, enlarging his bet on the cryptocurrency despite criticism.

Bukele said last week that El Salvador had acquired 100 additional coins to take advantage of the currency weakening.