Analysts expect Bitcoin to be legal tender in many countries: Crypto Moves

Analysts expect Bitcoin to be legal tender in many countries: Crypto Moves
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Updated 15 March 2022

Analysts expect Bitcoin to be legal tender in many countries: Crypto Moves

Analysts expect Bitcoin to be legal tender in many countries: Crypto Moves
  • El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar in September last year

RIYADH: As crypto continues to galvanise attention from both the authorities and investors, a number of analysts are suggesting Bitcoin could become legal tender in many countries.

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of investment management firm Skybridge Capital, expects more countries to adopt Bitcoin alongside their domestic and international currencies.

“I think Bitcoin will be used by many Latin American countries as legal tender over time, not just El Salvador, but other countries,” Scaramucci said.

El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar in September last year.

El Salvador's president, Nayib Bukele, predicted in January that two more countries would launch a legal tender for bitcoin this year, Bitcoin.com reported.

The CEO of Devere Group, Nigel Green, also predicted in January that three countries would adopt Bitcoin as legal tender this year.

Meanwhile, the CEO of crypto derivatives trading platform Bitmex, Alex Hoeptner, said in October last year that five countries will accept Bitcoin as legal tender by the end of 2022.

Scaramucci also believes that the crypto currency could reach $500K a coin in the long term, according to Bitcoin.com.

In addition, he expects more than a billion wallets to hold Bitcoin by the end of 2025, and the number of its users to reach 2.5 to 3 billion over the next decade.

“When it gets there, then I think as a mature asset, we could have a conversation about whether or not it operates as an inflation hedge,” he said.

Licenses

FTX, a major crypto exchange, announced that it has obtained a virtual-asset license in Dubai and will establish a regional headquarters in the city, Bloomberg reported.

“The firm will offer complex crypto-derivatives products with centralized counterparty clearing to institutional markets,” CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in a statement.

FTX reached $32 billion valuation after raising $400 million in a Series C round announced in January, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Binance, the largest crypto exchange, has also obtained licenses to be a service provider in Dubai and Bahrain as it sets up the stage for a major push in the Middle East, according to Bloomberg.

Binance got a license to be the first anchor in Dubai World Trade Center, an economic free zone, a person familiar with the matter said.

It also won a license from Bahrain’s central bank to be a crypto-asset service provider in the country, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, tweeted.

These two licenses represent the exchange's first regulatory approvals in the Middle East.

The UAE is seeking to attract some of the largest fintech and crypto companies in the world.

It is also the third-largest crypto market in the region, trailing Turkey and Lebanon, according to data compiled by Chainalysis as of June 2021.

UAE

Emirati entrepreneurs active in the local cryptocurrency and non-fungible token sector welcomed the recent announcement of Dubai’s new virtual asset laws and the creation of the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority.

The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law is expected to boost trading volumes in cryptocurrencies, while the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority will regulate, supervise and control virtual asset services, the ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Al Maktoum said.

The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law aims to create an advanced legal framework to protect investors and design international standards to govern the virtual asset industry, Arabian Business reported.

“As an artist and entrepreneur who deals extensively in NFTs, I find this recent development to be crucial for the growth of my art business and the region’s NFT artwork industry,” Kristel Bechara, the first Arab female artist to launch NFTs from the UAE said.

The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority will also be essential in establishing a framework of rules and regulations that will attract new investors and creators to the market, according to Arabian Business.

Daily trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Tuesday, falling by 1.18 percent to $38,362 at 10:32 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,527, down by 1.97 percent, according to data from Coindesk.


Closing bell: Saudi bourse slips 82 points to 10,702  

Closing bell: Saudi bourse slips 82 points to 10,702  
Updated 7 sec ago

Closing bell: Saudi bourse slips 82 points to 10,702  

Closing bell: Saudi bourse slips 82 points to 10,702  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index on Thursday lost 81.94 points — or 0.76 percent — to close at 10,701.79.  

MSCI Tadawul 30 Index dropped 0.95 percent to 1,475.52, while the parallel market Nomu slipped 0.79 percent to 18,996.50.  

TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Thursday was SR4.04 billion ($1.08 billion), with 77 stocks of the listed 224 advancing and 130 retreating.  

Salama Cooperative Insurance Co. was the topmost gainer for the second day in a row, rising 5.84 percent on Thursday to SR16.30.   

The other top gainers were Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co., Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance Co., Knowledge Economic City and Americana Restaurants International.  

The worst performer on Thursday was Alinma Bank, which fell 4.25 percent to SR31.55. The bank on Feb. 2 posted a net profit increase of 33 percent to SR3.59 billion in 2022 from SR2.70 billion in 2021.  

The net profit growth was driven by an increase in total operating income by 19.6 percent year-on-year, mainly due to higher net income from financing and investment, fee income, the fair value of investments income through the income statement and currency exchange income.   

Net income from specialized commissions, financing and investments increased 18 percent to SR6.01 billion in 2022 from SR5.14 in 2021.  

The net profit for the fourth quarter of 2022 grew 39 percent to SR860.2 million from SR619.1 million during the same period in 2021.   

The other stocks that performed poorly included Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group, Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi Industrial Investment Group and Etihad Etisalat Co.  

Among sectoral indices, 14 of the 21 listed on the stock exchange declined, while the rest advanced.  

The Real Estate Management & Development Index was the best-performing sector of the day as it gained 2.14 percent to 2,733.75, points led by Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co.’s 4.85 percent leap to SR12.96.  

The Healthcare Equipment & Service Index was the worst-performing sector, losing 169.9 points to close at 9,384.11.  

On the announcements front, Bank AlJazira also reported a rise of 10 percent in 2022 net profit to SR1.10 billion, compared to SR1 billion in 2021.  

The growth was spurred by a 10 percent decline in total operating expenses year on year.   

“The reduction in total operating expenses came primarily due to a decrease in the net impairment charge for financing and other financial assets, impairment charge for another real estate, rent and premises-related expenses and depreciation and amortization expenses,” the bank said in a statement to Tadawul.  

In the fourth quarter of 2022, net profit rose 7 percent to SR243.8 million from SR228.8 million a year earlier. Bank AlJazira’s share price fell 0.52 percent to SR19.16.  

Saudi Chemical Holding Co., through its pharmaceutical sector represented by the subsidiary AJA Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, signed on Feb. 1 a memorandum of understanding with Lagap SA, a Swiss-based pharmaceuticals producer.  

The MoU was signed at the Saudi Export stand during the Arab Health Exhibition 2023, the company said in a statement to Tadawul. The MoU is aimed at the co-development of pharmaceutical products and launching them in European and Middle East markets. The company’s share slumped 2.33 percent to SR27.30. 


Saudi-based developer RSG achieves top green rating for its workers’ village

Saudi-based developer RSG achieves top green rating for its workers’ village
Updated 34 min 14 sec ago

Saudi-based developer RSG achieves top green rating for its workers’ village

Saudi-based developer RSG achieves top green rating for its workers’ village

RIYADH: Saudi-based developer Red Sea Global has achieved a Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for a collection of villas and townhouses built for the company’s staff.

The certification, also referred to as LEED, was awarded by the non-profit US Green Building Council for the developments at Turtle Bay – a residential and commercial area housing workers, employees and management of The Red Sea.

The platinum certification poses the highest level of accreditation achievable under the LEED Homes rating system, and means Red Sea Global is the owner of the largest portfolio of LEED Homes certified buildings in the Kingdom, according to a statement.

“To be one of the world’s most responsible developers, we must ensure every aspect of our destinations meets the highest possible sustainable standards. Achieving LEED Platinum for The Red Sea’s Turtle Bay villas and townhouses demonstrates to our key stakeholders that we are meeting and exceeding our sustainability objectives,” said Group CEO of RSG John Pagano, in a statement.

In addition to this, Red Sea Global's sustainability accreditation management system is targeting to achieve LEED Building Design & Construction certifications for over 75 percent of its assets, as well as a LEED Cities & Communities for its destinations, the statement revealed.

The multi-project developer is also aiming to attain LEED Platinum on other key developments, including the Red Sea International airport, hospitality assets, among others.


Modon to develop and operate 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 

Modon to develop and operate 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 
Updated 02 February 2023

Modon to develop and operate 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 

Modon to develop and operate 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 

RIYADH: The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, also known as Modon, is set to establish, develop and operate 14 warehouses in Jeddah 1st Industrial City.  

The new warehouses will be based on smart automated systems to provide quick and temporary logistical solutions to support industrialists and entrepreneurs as well as stimulate investment in the retail sector.  

According to Modon, the project involves the construction of fully digital and automated warehouses that do not need human intervention, using the latest technology and equipment that provides access to storage units via a smartphone app.  

The project is set to offer 24-hour customer service to provide immediate and thorough support.  

The warehouses will be operated based on the public-private partnership model, which is expected to enhance quality standards and operational efficiency of services and products and stimulate investment. 


Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  

Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  
Updated 02 February 2023

Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  

Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  

CAIRO: Riyadh-based fintech firm Raqamyah has received a license from the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, to offer its debt-based crowdlending solutions to small and medium enterprises.  

The license was granted after the company successfully passed testing its solutions within the SAMA’s regulatory sandbox, an experimental environment dedicated to innovative financial products and services in Saudi Arabia.  

Founded in 2017, Raqamyah enables SMEs to access Shariah-compliant financing of up to $1.3 million from individual and institutional lenders through its online platform and has been part of SAMA’s regulatory sandbox since 2019.  

SMEs apply for financing applications with the firm and receive approval within three working days to list their business on the platform where lenders start funding the request.  

The financers then receive monthly payments and profits as the businesses make their repayments. The platform also offers lenders to automate their lending investments so whenever there’s an opportunity that fits the criteria.  

In February 2021, Raqamyah secured $2.3 million in a funding round led by Impact46 which was used to comply with SAMA’s licensing requirements. 

The bank said its licensing of fintech companies contributes to achieving the objectives of the Financial Development Sector strategy aligned with Vision 2030.   

“SAMA reiterates its commitment to support the finance sector, increase the efficacy and flexibility of financial transactions and enable innovation in financial services to promote financial inclusion in the Kingdom and provide easy and secure access to financial services to all segments of society,” it said in a press release. 

Last month, the central bank issued licenses to two fintech firms — Forus and Tameed — both specializing in debt-based crowdfunding.  

Also earlier in January, the central bank announced the launch of a new lab to allow businesses to test their products against an established framework.   

The service is a new concept that enables consumers of financial institutions to securely share their data with a third-party provider, facilitating innovative services and products. 


Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes

Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes
Updated 02 February 2023

Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes

Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi based Aldar Properties is set to begin devlopments in Dubai after signing a joint venture agreement with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes across three communities in Dubai.

The developments will take place in the suburban heart of the city along the E311 and E611 corridors across 38.2 million sq. ft of land. according to a press release.

Work is set to begin this year, according to a press release.

“Our entry to Dubai is a milestone moment for Aldar, and we are excited about our long-term growth potential in the emirate alongside Dubai Holding, a prominent and strategic partner,” said Group CEO at Aldar Properties Talal Al Dhiyebi.  

Aldar will be in charge of the entire development cycle, including concept design, sales, delivery, and management of the developments.

“The JV with Aldar demonstrates Dubai Holding’s unparalleled track record of being the strategic ‘partner of choice’ for strong regional and institutional investors. In line with our vision to operate For the Good of Tomorrow, we will continue to unlock opportunities that position Dubai as a leading destination for investments from across the globe,” noted Amit Kaushal, CEO of Dubai Holding.

“By joining forces with Aldar, one of the market leaders in this field, we are delivering on a shared objective of driving the UAE’s economic growth and creating long-term, sustainable value for all our stakeholders,” Kaushal added.