Middle East Eyes for Strong Potential Cryptocurrency Market

More Middle East countries are taking a bet on cryptocurrency, despite its high volatility nature, which may beat investors.

The first Bitcoin fund in the Middle East was listed in Nasdaq Dubai last Wednesday, which was launched by 3iQ, one of Canada’s largest digital asset fund management companies, and its assets under management are worth more than $1.5 billion.

The dual listing of the Bitcoin fund on Nasdaq Dubai this time provides investors in the Middle East with investment opportunities directly linked to Bitcoin.

Canadian investment fund manager 3iQ Corp. announced that it had received approval from its public hearing by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in October 2019. The closed-end Bitcoin fund will be listed for trading on a major Canadian stock exchange.

Beyond the first time, Israel also has already carried out a pilot test and is seriously considering implementing a CBDC of digital Shekel.

Other countries in the Middle East region have also participated in various levels of cryptocurrency projects. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a blockchain-enabled trade finance platform called UAE Trade Connect (UTC) to curb economic crimes like money laundering, under-invoicing, and fraud.

While cryptocurrency has gradually penetrated the Middle East, the high degree of volatility in the cryptocurrency market has also drawn the attention of investors and relevant authorities.

Qatar’s Chief Investment Authority Chief Executive Officer Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud told Bloomberg’s Qatar Economic Forum that:

cryptocurrencies need a bit of maturity before we make our view about investing.”

In terms of the most mainstream cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, it reached an all-time high of $64,854 on April 14 this year, and it has now fallen by half its price. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $34,943 during the intraday, surging more than 5%, according to Coindesk.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Bitcoin ETF from 3iQ and Coinshares goes live in Canada

Canada-based investment fund manager 3iQ’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund created in partnership with Coinshares is now available for trading.

In an announcement from 3iQ today, trading for the 3iQ Coinshares Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, or ETF, began on the Toronto Stock Exchange today. The fund’s units are trading in U.S. dollars under the ticker “BTCQ.U” and Canadian dollars under the ticker “BTCQ.” Trading opened at $11.89 for BTCQ before dipping to $11.51 and recovering, while units of the Bitcoin ETF in U.S. dollars opened at $9.39 and have since risen 0.4% at the time of publication.

The investment fund manager said the ETF was aimed at providing investors exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) based on the movements of the cryptocurrency’s value in dollars, and the opportunity for long-term capital appreciation. The Bitcoin ETF’s management fee is 1%, but 3iQ said it would absorb any other expenses in excess of 0.25%.

Canada has seemingly taken the lead on launching crypto ETFs in North America given the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s, or SEC’s, reticence in approving local funds — though many are hopeful given pro-crypto Gary Gensler’s recent confirmation as SEC chair. 3iQ was behind the launch of Canada’s first Bitcoin fund, and filed the final prospectus for the Bitcoin ETF earlier this month.

Including 3iQ’s and Coinshare’s fund, regulators in Canada have approved several crypto ETFs. Last week, they gave the green light for Ether (ETH) ETFs from Purpose Investments, Evolve Funds Group, and CI Global Asset Management to begin trading on local exchanges. Both Purpose and Evolve had previously launched Bitcoin ETFs, attracting roughly $1.3 billion and $100 million in assets under management, respectively.

Canada’s first Bitcoin fund, launched by 3iQ in April 2020, has grown to more than $1 billion. Together, Coinshares and 3iQ have $7 billion in assets under management.