Dubai: A Bitcoin trading platform has listed on Nasdaq Dubai, with 21Shares AG making its Middle East debut. The company is part 21.co, said to be the 'world’s largest issuer of cryptocurrency exchange traded products (ETPs)'.
On Nasdaq Dubai, 21Shares is listing the 'first physically-backed Bitcoin ETP in the Middle East' through 21Shares Bitcoin ETP (Ticker: ABTC). "Our products are 'physically-backed', meaning they are fully collateralized by the underlying the Bitcoin assets they track with 1:1 leverage," said Hany Rashwan, CEO and co-founder of 21Shares. " This means 'greater transparency and more stability for investors. The underlying crypto assets are deposited in an offline wallet - also called 'cold storage' - providing added security.'
The physical backing part of it is significant, and would go a long way to reassure potential investors using the 21Shares Bitcoin ETP. In the recent past, cryptocurrencies' decline meant that several exchange portals found themselves stuck for liquidity and stopped the trades.
We believe now is the time to focus on security, safety and continuing to strengthen your product proposition to offer investors something truly differentiated.
Rashwan says that 'being a physically backed ETP - collateralised by underlying Bitcoin assets they track - means 21Shares' ETPs can help investors mitigate against market and price volatility'. "There is risk mitigation inherent within the ETP structure which 21Shares is listing," he added.
"As for the Middle East, we believe demand and adoption is greater than ever in the UAE and MENA. We are excited by (the) vibrant crypto ecosystem in the region, and we want to play an active, meaningful role in helping it continue to evolve from strength to strength in the long term."
In recent weeks, Bitcoin prices had inched above $20,000, but a new burst of global market jitters have brought it back under. It is now at $19,120, and a long way away from the glory days of $65,000 struck in 2021.
Rashwan is not daunted.
"We have been following the market for a long time and there is clear regional demand for Bitcoin as the crypto of choice at the moment," he said. "21Shares listens to its investors and appetite is strongest for Bitcoin - there is also high volume of Bitcoin trading vs. other cryptos, providing more market-making possibilities and greater liquidity.
"This is however, the company's initial launch. At the moment we are focused on our launch and providing best-in-class products and services to investors. We are committed to the UAE and MENA, and we have ambitions to continue to expand and evolve our offering in the region long term."
The parent company, 21.co, went through a $25 million fundraising round, which made it Switzerland’s largest crypto unicorn.
"The crypto industry has experienced bear markets before and markets are cyclical by their very nature," said Hany Rashwan. "We believe now is the time to focus on security, safety and continuing to strengthen your product proposition to offer investors something truly differentiated."