On October 27th 2022, Q9 Capital published a press release where they unilaterally announced that they had received a provisional virtual asset approval from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). LaraontheBlock since then has continuously been checking VARA’s website and no Q9 to be seen anywhere. Q9 is a crypto investment management platform offering capabilities to crypto and TradFi firms. So it should be on VARA’s website under TradFi, DeFi Asset Managers section, but it isn’t.

VARA lists all the entities which have applied for a license and have provisional approval. So for example on VARA’s website under Native Crypto Exchanges, users can see Binance [Issued MVP Licence], BitOasis, Bybit, CoinMENA, Crypto.com, FTX Exchange FZE [Suspended MVP License], GCEX, Huobi, MidChains and OKX.

Then under TradFi DeFi Custodians, you have the recently approved Hex Trust [Issued MVP Licence], Komainu [Issued MVP Licence] and then you have those who applied and have a provisionary license but not a full MVP one that include Monstera and Zamp.

In TradFi | DeFi Asset Managers there is Brevan Howard, Fintonia Group, NineBlocks and NOIA Capital. While under TradFi | DeFi Financial Services you have Amber Group, Equiti, Scallop, and TPS Capital

With Native Crypto-Content | DLT Platforms listed are Calvin Cheng Web3.0 Holdings and Woonkly Labs while in TradEcon | DeFi Services there is BRE Holdings, Eros Investments, Hike, and Prypto

Two weeks since the announcement and no Q9. This is despite the fact that VARA is quick to update its website when it has approved or provided preliminary approvals or MVP licenses. In addition in many cases it also publishes a press release.

Q9 had stated that this approval came as it expanded into the UAE and applied for a full operating license in accordance with VARA requirements.  As per the release, Q9 products and strategies can be created and executed on Q9’s platform, such as systematic investment portfolios and white-labeled offerings, within VARA’s framework and distributed globally in an automated, transparent, regulated and compliant manner.

The release added, the full operating license, once received, will allow Q9 to extend products and services to qualified investors and financial service providers. Q9 will also establish a regional hub in Dubai to contribute to developing the ever-expanding virtual asset ecosystem both in Dubai and globally.

The press release even goes on to say that the provisional approval is a major milestone that follows a number of registrations for Q9’s local entities in Hong Kong and Dubai. As a regulation-led platform with robust compliance and security controls that have consumer protection and market integrity at its core, the registration further strengthens Q9’s position.

James Quinn, Managing Partner of Q9, noted “Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority is a testament to the country’s forward-looking stance on digital assets and its willingness to support the industry through collaboration. We look forward to participating in the authority’s robust compliance framework and continue building partnerships as we expand our presence in Dubai to roll out additional services and enhanced products for the region.”

But until LaraontheBlock, sees the Q9 name on VARA’s website, Q9 ‘s provisional preliminary approval is still hanging in the wind!