DUBAI, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Crypto investment products firm 21.co said on Wednesday its subsidiary 21Shares AG has listed a bitcoin exchange-traded product on Nasdaq Dubai, making it the Middle East’s first physical-backed ETP.
The 21Shares Bitcoin ETP trades, under the ticker ABTC, in the same way as the 21Shares Bitcoin ETP in Europe, 21.co said in a statement.
Dubai has ambitions to become a global cryptocurrency hub and has attracted major players in the industry to set up shop such as Binance, which began hiring in the UAE this year and is helping shape the Middle East’s virtual asset regulations.
Following the Dubai listing, 21Shares has 46 products listed in seven countries, 21.co added.
Switzerland-based 21.co last month raised $25 million in a funding round that valued it at $2 billion, which it said made it “Switzerland’s biggest unicorn”.
The crypto market has experienced turmoil that has forced some of its biggest players to lay off thousands of employees to cut costs.
But Sherif El-Haddad, appointed 21Shares head of the Middle East in August, was upbeat, saying cryptocurrencies were “quickly becoming the asset of the future for investors and wealth managers around the world”.
The Middle East and North Africa is the world’s fastest-growing region for cryptocurrencies, with the amount of money received increasing by 48% in the year to June, blockchain researcher Chainalysis said in a report last week.
Hany Rashwan, CEO and co-founder of 21Shares, said in the statement that the company “will continue to support the aspirations of the Middle East to become a global crypto hub”.
Reporting by Yousef Saba; edited by Barbara Lewis
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