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.