In the prelapsarian days of April, Three Arrows Capital’s Su Zhu said his firm’s headquarters was moving to Dubai to launch a new $5 billion fund, citing a friendlier regulatory environment than Singapore.
But a lot has happened since, and there’s no evidence to suggest that the embattled crypto fund has made good on its claim that it’s moving away from the Lion City.
“We can confirm that Three Arrows Capital is not a DFSA authorized firm and is not regulated by the DFSA,” a spokesperson for the DFSA (Dubai Financial Services Authority) told CoinDesk via email.
In Singapore, Three Arrows Capital is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. A company looking to replicate its Singaporean structure in Dubai would be expected to seek registration as a fund with the DFSA.
In order to conduct financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – a purpose-built financial free trade zone – entities need to seek authorization from the DFSA, according to the regulator’s website.
In the last few years, the DIFC has wooed crypto companies to the emirate with the promise of innovative regulation.
Three Arrows hasn’t registered an entity outside of the DIFC either. A search of Dubai’s national economic register shows no company matching the description of Three Arrows Capital registered in the emirate — although there is an air-conditioning company with the name “Three Arrows” operating.
Setting up a company in Dubai only takes four to five working days, according to accountants with experience in the matter. It would be expected that a fund serious about moving to Dubai would have made inroads after its April announcement.
Zhu lists Dubai as his location on Twitter.
On stage at Crypto Bahamas in Nassau in April, Zhu specifically cited that “energy in Dubai’s digital asset industry is electric right now” as a reason for the move, while his business partner and fund co-founder Kyle Davies said he was “very impressed with the vision of Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority.”
“I expect many leading firms to continue to move to Dubai and contribute to the growing digital asset ecosystem,” Davies said at the time.
Neither Three Arrows Capital nor Davies responded to a request for comment.
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