Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves

Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves
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Updated 26 January 2022

Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves

Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Wednesday, rising by 4.55 percent to $37,968 at 3:08 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,539, up by 5.19 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

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The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday called on El Salvador to change course and stop using bitcoin as a legal tender, citing the significant risks posed by the cryptocurrency.

The small Central American nation in September became the first country in the world to embrace the digital coin, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions, alongside the US dollar.

The call by the Washington-based financial organization came as the cryptocurrency dropped in value amid wider volatility on Wall Street in recent days, undoing much of the gains it had made during a record-setting climb in value last year.

The IMF staff had previously called on El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele to reconsider putting bitcoin at the center of his country's finances.

The latest pronouncement used much stronger language and came from the IMF's board, which is composed of representatives of member governments including the United States.

The board's directors “urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the bitcoin law by removing bitcoin's legal tender status,” according to a statement.

In Tuesday's statement from the board, they noted the fund supports the aim of “boosting financial inclusion” which could be advanced using the country's "Chivo” e-wallet, but warned about the high levels of volatility in the cryptocurrency's exchange rate.

Bitcoin's value has shown some correlation with Wall Street equities, but pressure has also come from China's crackdown on the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies, and also the risk of wider regulatory action from the likes of Europe and the United States.

Analysts also say it faces increased competition in 2022 from rival digital assets like ethereum.

Argentina

Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges by volumes traded, has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Argentinian Football Association, allowing the company to become the main sponsor of all the Argentinian football teams on a global scale.

This agreement is the first one the exchange has inked with a worldwide national team, and will last five years, according to Bitcoin.com.

The agreement also seeks to promote the brand with one of the most successful football teams, offering cryptocurrencies to users and fans who may not have been familiar with these technologies.

“Through this agreement, we hope to support Argentine soccer at all levels and introduce Binance, the crypto world and the blockchain to soccer fans across the country and the world,” Maximiliano Hinz, director of Binance Latam said.

The signed partnership also includes the development and launch of a new fan token that will be released in the near future.

However, the Argentinian Soccer Association had already issued a fan token of its own, in partnership with Socios.com, a fan token company.

The release of the new token was criticized by the Socios platform, which issued a press release announcing its stance on this new deal that AFA signed with Binance.

According to sports media, Socios rejected this new deal, made just nine months after they had signed another deal with them that would last three years.

“We will do everything in our power to prevent this and to protect the rights of fans who purchased $ARG Fan Tokens. We are facing a flagrant breach of contract and we will take all the necessary legal measures to guarantee that AFA fulfills the commitments acquired with Socios.com,” Socios.com said.

The first token was launched on June 15 last year, selling more than 400k tokens at that time.

Indonesia

Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority — the Jakarta-based government agency known as OJK which regulates the financial services sector — warned Tuesday that financial companies are not allowed to offer or facilitate the sales of crypto assets.

The warning was conveyed by the chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioners, Wimboh Santoso, on the regulator’s official Instagram account.

“OJK has strictly prohibited financial service institutions from using, marketing, and/or facilitating crypto asset trading,” he said.

The regulator also warned the public when investing in crypto assets.

“Crypto-assets themselves are a type of commodity that has fluctuations in value which can go up and down at any time, so people must understand the risks,” the OJK stated.

 


Diriyah Gate will contribute $7.2bn to Saudi GDP, says Abdullah Taibah

Diriyah Gate will contribute $7.2bn to Saudi GDP, says Abdullah Taibah
Updated 14 sec ago

Diriyah Gate will contribute $7.2bn to Saudi GDP, says Abdullah Taibah

Diriyah Gate will contribute $7.2bn to Saudi GDP, says Abdullah Taibah

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s historic city development project, The Diriyah Gate, will contribute SR27 billion ($7.2 billion) to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product upon its completion, according to Abdullah Taibah, senior advisor to CEO, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City. 

While talking at the Saudi-Thai Economic Forum on May 16, Taibah said that the project will also create around 120,000 jobs, and will surely emerge as one of the most popular destinations in Saudi Arabia. 

Known as Saudi’s cultural capital, Diriyah is located just 20 minutes northwest of Riyadh’s city center. The plan is to transform the historic city into one of the world’s leading “lifestyle destinations for culture and heritage, hospitality, retail, and education,” according to a government website. 

Taibah spoke of some of the other ambitious projects that are set to transform the Kingdom into a land of global attraction as Saudi moves ahead with achieving Vision 2030 goals.  

Calling the King Salman Park, the “Lungs of Riyadh,” he revealed that this site will have plenty of green space, with lots of arts and sports activities. 

Talking about the Qiddiya project, Taibah said, “This place will be developed over 316 square km. It will include eight family-friendly theme parks. It will include the longest Formula One track of about 7.8 km and it’s supposed to be attracting 48 million visitors.” 

He added that the Riyadh Art project will install more than 1,000 public art installations from local and international artists. 

Talking about improving city transport infrastructure, Taibah noted that the King Abdulaziz metro project will cover 176 km in Riyadh with 85 stations. 

“These stations will be spread around the city covering the most populated areas connecting King Khalid (International Airport) from the north, all the way to King Abdullah Financial District and other populated areas,” he added. 

 


Bahraini oil refineries’ profit margin rises to an all time high, oil minister tells Asharq

Bahraini oil refineries’ profit margin rises to an all time high, oil minister tells Asharq
Updated 7 min ago

Bahraini oil refineries’ profit margin rises to an all time high, oil minister tells Asharq

Bahraini oil refineries’ profit margin rises to an all time high, oil minister tells Asharq

RIYADH: The profit margin of Bahraini oil refineries has risen to its highest historical level in the industry, the country's minister of oil and gas said in an interview with Asharq.

Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa also added that Bahrain Petroleum Co. refinery’s expansion is over 80 percent complete. 

Expansion of the main oil refinery is in progress which will raise the total capacity to around 400,000 barrels per day, he added. 

The Bahrain Petroleum Co. refinery expansion project will raise the current production capacity from 267,000 barrels to 360,000 barrels per day, according to Asharq.

Bahrain has more than 30 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, and imports about 80 percent of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia.


Saudi crude oil exports fall 1% in March, biggest monthly decline in year: JODI

Saudi crude oil exports fall 1% in March, biggest monthly decline in year: JODI
Updated 12 min 14 sec ago

Saudi crude oil exports fall 1% in March, biggest monthly decline in year: JODI

Saudi crude oil exports fall 1% in March, biggest monthly decline in year: JODI

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell by 72,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 1 percent month-on-month in March, data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative, also known as JODI, reveal. 

Exports decreased to 7.235 million bpd from 7.307 million bpd in February. The decline is the biggest since March 2021 when exports fell 3.5 percent.

The volume of crude oil output has continued to grow for the eleventh month in a row. 

The output grew by 75,000 bpd in March to 10.300 million bpd. Production rose by 0.7 percent from 10.225 million bpd in February. 


Wheat prices hit record high after India export ban

Wheat prices hit record high after India export ban
Updated 31 min 58 sec ago

Wheat prices hit record high after India export ban

Wheat prices hit record high after India export ban

Wheat prices surged to a record high on Monday after India decided to ban exports of the commodity as a heatwave hit production.

The price — which was already high in the wake of Russia’s invasion of major wheat exporter Ukraine — jumped to 435 euros ($453) per ton as the European market opened.
 


Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits

Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits
Updated 46 min 21 sec ago

Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits

Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits

RIYADH: Saudi Tadawul Group’s stock gained in the afternoon trading session on Monday, despite the company posting lower first-quarter profit yesterday.

As of 2:04 p.m. Saudi time, the Kingdom’s bourse operator had seen its shares rise 3.15 percent to SR209.80 ($56), up from SR203.2 at the previous close.

The company reported lower profits yesterday, dropping 21 percent to SR141 million in the first quarter, from SR180 million for the same quarter last year.