Nine Blocks Capital Management FZE has become the first digital asset hedge fund to receive a crypto license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).
The regulatory approval will enable Nine Blocks to provide a range of virtual asset services to cryptocurrency users in Dubai, including digital asset management and investment products.
Announced on November 27th, the license comes after Nine Blocks signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with VARA earlier this year to share knowledge and consult on regulatory frameworks.
Nine Blocks has also revealed plans to open a global headquarters in Dubai to further cement its presence in the region.
Established in 2021, Nine Blocks describes itself as a “neutral trading shop” with a profit model centered on relative value, arbitrage and quantitative trading strategies tailored to cryptocurrency markets.
The hedge fund’s expansion into Dubai comes at a time when regulatory clarity is lacking in the United States, pushing many crypto companies to establish operations in more welcoming jurisdictions.
Dubai made waves last year when it announced ambitions to transform into a global crypto hub. This vision took clearer shape when VARA published its comprehensive rulebook to regulate digital asset operators earlier this spring.
Since then, major industry players such as Binance, Crypto.com and OKX have set up shop in Dubai to service regional customers within VARA’s regulatory guardrails.