Bitcoin slips from record high as ETF mania subsides

Bitcoin slips from record high as ETF mania subsides
Bitcoin reached a record $67,016 on Wednesday. (Getty Images)
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Updated 22 October 2021

Bitcoin slips from record high as ETF mania subsides

Bitcoin slips from record high as ETF mania subsides
  • JPMorgan analysts doubted whether the ETF will attract much new money into bitcoin

RIYADH: Cryptocurrencies declined on Friday following an ETF-fueled rally that saw it reach a record $67,016 on Wednesday, as investors questioned whether the new investment vehicle will attract as much new money to the assets as some have speculated.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, was trading at $63,498.16 as of 3:36 p.m. in Riyadh, a drop of 2.5 percent over the previous 24 hours. Ethereum, was 2.0 percent lower at $4,125.40 after approaching its all-time high of $4,380 from May.

Bitcoin’s recent rally — six-months after its previous top of $64,895 — was fueled by the debut of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF.

A dozen other futures-based bitcoin ETFs could launch in the coming months, with The Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF set to begin trading on Friday under the ticker BTF. The VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF expected to begin trading next week under the ticker XBTF.

Investors have bet the long-awaited launch of bitcoin ETFs will lead to greater investment from both retail and institutional investors, but analysts at JPMorgan suggested in a note that the ProShares ETF could have limited effect on investment volumes because there are so many options for investors already.

The ProShares ETF has created a significant shift in the balance of power among cryptocurrency exchanges. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), host to the ETF, has replaced Binance as the world’s biggest bitcoin futures platform this week.

As of 2 p.m. Riyadh time, the CME accounted for 22 percent, or $5.68 billion, of the total global futures open interest of $25.7 billion, while Binance contributed $5.66 billion, CoinDesk reported.

The value of funds held in CME-based futures contracts have tripled this month, with more than $1.5 billion flowing into the market after ProShares’ bitcoin ETF went live on Tuesday, CoinDesk said.

Elsewhere in the cryptoverse, Worldcoin said yesterday it raised $25 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, CoinBase Ventures and Digital Currency Group, valuing it at $1 billion.

The rather unique proposition is that coins are distributed in exchange for staring into an orb, which takes a scan of your retinas.

Based in Berlin, Worldcoin was founded by former Y Combinator President Sam Altman. It currently has 70 employees and 30 orbs, which it takes out into the world to offer worldcoins. It plans to ramp up orb production to 4,000 per month from November.

So far, about 130,000 people have stared into the orb, has a cap of 10 billion coins with the aim of giving one to every person on earth with the remaining 2 billion set aside for the Worldcoin Foundation and investors.


Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea
  • The Saudi cabinet approved on Tuesday the establishment of a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is taking more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea, which the Kingdom deems to be a big contributor to the growth of its tourism industry. 

The Saudi cabinet approved on Tuesday the establishment of a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea, as well as organizational preparation work for a new authority in the area, according to the cabinet's weekly statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.


Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 

Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 1 min 42 sec ago

Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 

Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 

RIYADH: Egypt’s house of representatives approved a presidential decree that includes imposing a 10 percent customs tax on imported mobile phones, to promote local industry.

Egypt’s Minister of Finance explained that the amendments aim to encourage investment, maximize production facilities and strengthen competitiveness of goods manufactured there in international markets.

Mohamed Maait added that computers and tablets are excluded from the tax, because they constitute a tool for digital transformation and the development of the education system. 

The amendment of some categories of customer tariffs comes in light of the conclusions reached by the Higher Council of Customs Tariffs in Egypt, head of the Egyptian customs authority, El-Shahat Ghaturi said. 


Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn

Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn
Updated 5 min 11 sec ago

Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn

Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn

Sweden-based Lundin Energy, valued at around $10.7 billion, is exploring a potential sale in what could be one of the largest European oil and gas deals in years, Bloomberg said citing unnamed sources.

The shares of the company climbed as much as 14 percent on Monday, the highest jump during a day since April 2020. They rose 10 percent by the market close in Stockholm, recording a value of about 96.8 billion kronor ($10.7 billion).

The company said in a statement Monday that it “continuously engages in opportunities that are potentially value accretive,” but there are no conclusive decisions yet.


India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller

India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 16 min 53 sec ago

India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller

India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller
  • They also aim to develop a unified payments platform to help merchants in India

RIYADH: Indian payments and banking solutions company CashFree has invested $15 million in Dubai-based Teller, which provides electronic payment services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

With this investment CashFree's market share has exceeded 50 percent.

The two companies intend to launch joint services in the MENA region, building on Teller's knowledge of the region's markets and payments infrastructure, Asharq reported.

They also aim to develop a unified payments platform to help merchants in India accept payments from customers in the region.

The electronic payments market in India exceeds $20 billion annually.


Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 

Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 
Updated 17 min 39 sec ago

Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 

Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company has completed merging 13 public water distribution firms to increase efficiency of operations and fix technical gaps.

The move will also localize expertise in the sector, NWC’s chief Mohammed Al-Mowkley said on Monday. 

The announcement was attended by the Kingdom’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, who said investments in the water sector stood at $21.3 billion. 

The move is part of Saudi Arabia's National Water Strategy that aims to restructure the sector to serve its residents better. 

Under the integration, Tabuk and Al-Madinah will be the “northwestern sector,” while governorates in Riyadh will be under the “middle sector.”

NWC had previously launched a unified digital structure to improve its services across the Kingdom.