The company behind the Bitcoin Fund, 3iQ, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, completed its dual listing on Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday.
Through the listing, it becomes the first exchange-traded fund offering an investment in Bitcoin in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The Nasdaq Dubai listing “gives average investors right up to institutions access to Bitcoin in a safe, secure way”, 3iQ chairman and chief executive Frederick Pye told The National.
The dual listing also gives people in the Mena region access to the fund outside of North American trading hours and extends the trading periods available to North American investors to six days a week “and almost 24 hours a day”, he added.
The Central Bank of the UAE did not licensed the cryptocurrencies yet, although a number of cryptocurrency exchanges are approved to operate within Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate’s financial free zone. The UAE dirham is the only legal tender in the country that is recognized by the central bank.
The Bitcoin Fund allows people to buy units in a fund based on the world’s biggest cryptocurrency that has endured dramatic recent price swings.
When plans for its Nasdaq Dubai listing were first revealed in mid-April, Bitcoin was worth $54,806 and the Bitcoin Fund had a value of $1.45 billion. The cryptocurrency dropped below $30,000 Tuesday for the first time since January this year, on investor concerns about a regulatory clampdown in China, which has moved to ban energy-intensive Bitcoin mining, due to environmental concerns.
The fund’s value had fallen to $420.35m at close in Toronto on Tuesday, but Bitcoin rallied by about 7.4 per cent on Wednesday and was trading at $34,111 at 2.37pm in Dubai.
“There’s going to be volatility but in its lifetime its upside volatility has managed to produce extraordinary returns. It will continue to be volatile, but Bitcoin is here to stay.”