Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority has just listed UAE based Nine Blocks Capital Management as a receiving a full VASP license and will make Dubai UAE its headquarters.

As per VARA website, Nine Blocks Capital will be able to offer crypto and virtual asset investment services to institutional and qualified investors.

Nine Blocks Capital received initial approval from VARA back in August 2022. Nine Blocks was launched by by PwC’s former global crypto head Henri Arslanian.

Nine Blocks is the investment manager of the Nine Blocks Master Fund, a market neutral crypto fund focused on generating alpha from inefficiencies in the crypto markets using relative value, arbitrage and quantitative strategies.
With around $100m in AuM and a track record of more than 2 years, Nine Blocks manages assets for many leading investors globally, from regulated financial institutions and private banks to public companies and fund of funds.
This license is the culmination of a process that started with an MOU between Nine Blocks and VARA, allowing knowledge sharing and consultation.
The Nine Blocks group was set-up in 2021 with the belief that institutional investors want digital assets exposure via fund managers who have established digital assets track record, are regulated, have traditional finance experience and comply with the highest operational due diligence requirements.
Henri Arslanian, co-founder and managing partner of Nine Blocks said, “We believe that a regulatory regime tailored for the fast-moving digital assets space can not only provide comfort to institutional allocators but also contribute to the growth of a healthy crypto ecosystem.The UAE is quickly becoming a leading jurisdiction globally for digital assets and we are honored to be part of this journey.”

Nine Blocks follows a market neutral trading strategy, profiting from arbitrage opportunities and market inefficiencies across the crypto space.

Virtual asset trading and cusotial service platform M2 has been granted a Financial Services Permission (FSP) license in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). M2 is approved to operate a multilateral trading facility and offer custody services to UAE residents.

M2 will be able to offer institutional and retail clients in the UAE the ability to buy, sell and custodies virtual assets. The platform has been developed over the past year with a long-term vision to establish the highest levels of trust, security, and integrity in the emerging virtual asset class.

Subject to regulatory approval, the M2 platform is scheduled to launch later this year, offering UAE virtual asset investors the opportunity to purchase market-leading virtual assets (BTC and ETH), and benefit from institutional grade trading features in addition to having a secure on and off-ramp for fiat payments.

Stefan Kimmel, M2 CEO, said, “The M2 team is delighted to have received confirmation of the ADGM FSRA license as it represents the approval of one of the most sophisticated and respected regulators in the world. The process of obtaining the license is the first step on our journey and we will remain in close dialogue with ADGM to ensure transparency around the custody of client assets.

He added, “Over the past five years the ADGM regulatory framework has established clear rules for those operating in the virtual assets sector and M2 will uphold the highest standards to reflect their vision as the UAE continues to affirm its reputation as a global leader in this space.”

Salem Al Darei, Chief Executive Officer of ADGM Authority, commented, “We are delighted to welcome M2 to ADGM’s international virtual asset community, further solidifying ADGM’s position as a leading International Financial Centre and a catalyst for business expansion. At ADGM, our mission has always been centered around unlocking new growth opportunities and fostering investments in the virtual assets sector. This has been possible through the establishment of a robust and forward-looking regulatory framework for digital assets. By integrating companies like M2 into our ecosystem, we remain committed to enhancing Abu Dhabi’s digital asset landscape and actively supporting the diversification of our thriving economy.”