Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto industry anxiety; BitOasis lay off staff

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto industry anxiety; BitOasis lay off staff
For the first time since December 2020, Bitcoin fell below $20,000 over the weekend, after losing 57 percent this year (Shutterstock)
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Updated 20 June 2022

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto industry anxiety; BitOasis lay off staff

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto industry anxiety; BitOasis lay off staff

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Thursday, rising by 9.84 percent to $19,846.39 as of 8:35 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1064.60 rising by 13.15 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Concerns grip the crypto industry as Bitcoin nears the key $20,000 level

Crypto investors fear problems at major crypto players could unleash a major shakeout if not resolved, according to Reuters.

For the first time since December 2020, Bitcoin fell below $20,000 over the weekend, after losing 57 percent this year. 

The drop resembles the point where the cycle peaked in 2017.

Adam Farthing, chief risk office for Japan at crypto liquidity provider B2C2, said: “If the market goes higher, everyone breathes a sigh of relief, things will get refinanced, people will raise equity, and all of the risks will dissipate.”

There are several industry players facing difficulties, and further price drops could lead to other crypto investors reselling their holdings to meet margin calls.

In a Wall Street Journal story published Friday, Three Arrows Capital founders discussed the possibility of selling assets and a bailout by another firm, the same day Asia-focused crypto lender Babel Finance suspended withdrawals.

Based on Coinmarketcap, the market capitalization of crypto has declined from $2.9 trillion in November 2021 to roughly $870 billion.

Market capitalizations of stablecoins have dropped in recent months, suggesting investors are withdrawing from the sector.

UAE-based BitOasis lays off staff amid market turmoil

The UAE-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis announced on Sunday that it laid off nine employees, becoming one of the latest companies to cut jobs during a downturn, Reuters reported.

CEO and co-founder Ola Doudin said in an email: “Earlier this week, nine employees were made redundant across offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Amman.”

As investors dumped risky assets in fear of aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes to cool red hot inflation, cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network froze withdrawals early last week.

The nine employees represented nearly 5 percent of the company’s workforce, a spokesperson from BitOasis said.

BitOasis has been registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the UAE central bank and received permission to operate a Multilateral Trading Facility in 2021.

Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority granted BitOasis provisional approval in March 2022.


Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund
Updated 20 sec ago

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

RIYADH: Egypt-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has finalized a $100 million first close of its second fund — exceeding the $90 million target.

The company, which is set to invest $15 million in startups by the end of the year, is expecting to make its final close by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The company’s second fund is backed by existing limited partnerships from the first fund including IFC, EBRD, and EAEF in addition to new investors like FMO, BII, MSMEDA, DGGF and regional family offices.

Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures has backed a number of startups like Trella, Khazna, Mozare3, Shift EV, elmenus, Halan, and Yodawy.


Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise
Updated 12 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has approved a memorandum of understanding with the UK to share technical knowledge and expertise on energy.

The Cabinet is also discussing a draft MoU with its Finnish counterpart for further cooperation in the fields of information technology, communications, and digital economy.

Moreover, the Cabinet has transferred the licensing competence for the professions of industrial consultancy and mining consultancy from the Ministry of Commerce to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.


Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade
Updated 37 min ago

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

RIYADH: Metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey over the next 10 years, an official for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Asharq Business.

The metaverse is an online world where users can play games, work, and study.

Globally, the metaverse is expected to add $3 trillion to the world’s economy over the next decade, according to Fares Akkad, regional director for Meta in MENA.

Speaking about Meta platforms, he said there are over 300 million users on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Meta is investing more than $1 billion in programs that support creators on these platforms and help them succeed, Akkad said.

 


TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell
Updated 43 min 54 sec ago

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index closed on a positive note for the sixth trading session in a row as investors’ recession fears faded.

The Tadawul All Share Index ended 1.49 percent higher to reach 11,780; the parallel market Nomu edged 1.32 percent higher to 20,339.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended with a 0.70 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 4.9 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, fell 2.36 percent, while Saudi British Bank increased by 1.73 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi gained 1.81 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 1.05 percent.

Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Co., known as solutions by stc, gained 7.67 percent to lead the gainers, after it completed all necessary procedures to acquire a $158 million stake in Egypt's Giza Systems Co.

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. declined 2.58 percent to lead the fallers, followed by Alamar Foods Co. which fell 1.45 percent.

Among the gainers, Arabian Pipes Co. increased 7.54 percent, while Jabal Omar Development Co. added 6.67 percent.


Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen
Updated 47 min 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to boost its mining sector by attracting investments, spreading digital and advanced technologies, and applying sustainable standards, said the Kingdom’s vice minister for mining affair at the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

Khalid Al-Mudaifer is heading a Saudi delegation in South Africa, where the Kingdom seeks to explore investment opportunities to become a global supplier of hydrogen and emerge as a hub for green mineral and highly competitive manufacturing.

The delegation, comprising Saudi investors, is visiting South African capital Pretoria to meet local investors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The report said the Kingdom has many opportunities for integration with South Africa since it is one of the biggest economies in the continent.

One of the reasons for cooperation with South Africa is its strategic location, serving as a gateway to the entire African continent, as well as a link between the East and the West, Al-Mudaifer told Argaam.

South Africa is the hub for West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and the site for the export and trade of the Kingdom’s minerals. It also has great experience in mining, tourism, and other sectors.

Al-Mudaifer emphasized that Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. have representative offices in South Africa, which presents numerous opportunities for Saudi companies there.

“We can cooperate with South Africa to serve the Kingdom’s mining sector,” the vice minister noted.

The Kingdom has 14 mining sites with quantities of copper and zinc that will be auctioned after Al-Khunayqiyah and Umm Al-Damar. It needs marketing campaigns worldwide to attract companies, he added.

There are several South African firms operating in the Kingdom, including ADL, the official said, adding that some agreements were signed at Indaba. In addition to signing pacts with South African firms, other deals will be signed to transfer business into the Kingdom during this visit.