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November 29, 2023

Nine Blocks Capital Management Secures Groundbreaking Crypto License in Dubai

Inaugural crypto fund to secure the highly coveted Virtual Asset Management and Investment Services from Dubai's VARA

In a groundbreaking move that signals a seismic shift in the global crypto landscape, Nine Blocks Capital Management proudly announced its attainment of the coveted Virtual Asset Management and Investment Services license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This landmark achievement positions Nine Blocks as the first crypto hedge fund to secure such accreditation, marking a significant stride in the rapidly evolving world of digital assets.

Established in February 2022, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority has swiftly emerged as a regulatory linchpin, overseeing cryptocurrency activities within the vibrant city of Dubai. Alongside the historic licensing milestone, Nine Blocks dropped another bombshell—revealing their decision to relocate their headquarters to Dubai, solidifying the city's status as a burgeoning global crypto hub.

"The Nine Blocks group, founded in 2021, envisions a space where institutional investors seek digital assets exposure through fund managers boasting a proven track record in the digital assets realm. They prioritize regulation, traditional finance acumen, and the highest operational due diligence standards," stated the company's press release.

This move by Nine Blocks joins a crescendo of crypto-related businesses setting up shop in the 'city of gold.' Just this month, secured its Virtual Assets Service Provider license under VARA, echoing the sentiment that Dubai is fast becoming the epicenter for innovative crypto regulation and a hotbed for industry players.

Chainalysis data reveals that the Middle East and North Africa command nearly 7.2% of global transaction volume, translating to an annual on-chain value of over $389.8 billion. Notable industry players like Kraken, OKX, and Binance have already established their presence in Dubai. Binance, in a historic move, became the first digital asset exchange to acquire an Operation Minimum Viable Product (MVP) under VARA in June.

"The UAE's embrace of blockchain technology has cultivated an industry where security and innovation stand as complementary assets at its core," emphasized a Binance press release.

Dubai's magnetic pull for crypto businesses comes at a time when regulators in North America tighten their grip on the crypto industry. The recent plea by Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, admitting guilt to a series of violations and stepping down from his role, exemplifies the growing regulatory pressures. As part of the settlement, Binance faces a substantial $4.3 billion in fines and penalties, with a federal judge ruling that Zhao, now a Dubai resident, must remain in the United States until his sentencing on February 23rd, 2024.

In the throes of a global crypto evolution, Nine Blocks Capital Management's pioneering license acquisition and strategic move to Dubai underscore the city's rising prominence in fostering crypto innovation. As Dubai cements its position as a trailblazer in effective crypto regulation, the influx of industry giants further solidifies its status as the go-to global hub for digital assets. The winds of change blow through the deserts of Dubai, shaping a new era for the crypto ecosystem, where regulation and innovation dance in tandem.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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