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Egypt Begins Bitcoin Trading

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Bitcoin
  • Egypt Begins Bitcoin Trading

Egypt’s first Bitcoin exchange will go live later this month, the founders of Bitcoin Egypt said.

The founders linked the Middle East’s most populous country with a cryptocurrency that has surged in value in recent months.

Many governments around the world are still mulling how to regulate and classify Bitcoin, a volatile digital currency that has captured the interest of speculative investors worldwide.

Its value has soared, roughly quadrupling since the start of 2017 and trading at around 4,400 dollars on Thursday.

Egypt, most of whose 93 million people have no bank accounts, but where electronic payments have grown in recent years, lacks regulations for digital currency.

This means local retailers cannot accept it as payment, but users on an exchange may be left to trade freely, potentially cashing in on its ascent.

“We’re still waiting on the Egyptian government to set some kind of regulations…Without any laws, bitcoin is not legal money in Egypt,” said Bitcoin Egypt founder Rami Khalil.

He said the exchange has picked up about 300 pre-registrations from users ahead of its launch.

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, the country’s financial markets regulator, did not respond to requests for comment.

Khalil and co-founder Omar Abdelrasoul see their platform connecting a community of several thousand Bitcoin enthusiasts who will for the first time be able to trade in Egyptian pounds.

The pounds have roughly halved in value since November after flotation under an International Monetary Fund loan programme.

“Cryptoassets are happening whether (the Egyptian government) joins in or not. And by not joining they’re missing out on a very big market.

Currently Bitcoin is about a 70 billion dollars market,” said Khalil.

Cryptocurrencies allow anonymous peer-to-peer transactions between individual users without the need for banks or central banks.

Bitcoin’s lack of central authority makes it attractive to those wanting to get around capital controls.

This has helped it proliferate in China, the world’s most active Bitcoin market, but has led some governments to crack down on its use to prevent money laundering.

Those same dynamics could propel Bitcoin in Egypt, where a shortage of hard currency after the 2011 uprising sharply, restricted bank transfers.

Meanwhile, liquidity at banks has improved and capital controls have been lifted in recent months, businesses still resort to a black market for dollars to obtain currency not available in the formal banking system.

“We’re trying to get people used to the idea of Bitcoin, to ready the market so that in a couple of years we will reach a greater number of users.

“But for now we are trying to let people know what cryptocurrency is,” said Abdelrasoul.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday

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Crude oil

Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.

Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.

Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.

While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.

According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.

“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”

Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.

The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.

I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.

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Crude Oil

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

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Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.

OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.

Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”

Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.

Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.

Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.

“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”

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