Launching a Futuristic Virtual Assets Regulator

Building a brand for the world’s first virtual assets regulator

  • MBLM developed an inspiring brand promise and futuristic design inspired by the virtual assets and blockchain industry’s forward-thinking approach 
  • The VARA landing page now generates a 1.26 min average time spent vs. a 54-sec global average 
  • 23K website downloads of key documents such as regulations and company rule books have been made since MBLM developed the website

From the world’s tallest building to the longest self-drive metro system, Dubai constantly pushes the boundaries of innovation. Now, the emirate is on a mission to regulate the virtual asset ecosystem by launching Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)– the world’s first regulatory body to oversee cryptocurrency and blockchain-related assets’ activities.

Cryptocurrencies, a massive player in the virtual assets space dominated by Bitcoin (BTC), are worth $1.2 trillion at the time of writing, with an all-time high of over $3 trillion, despite a mere 4.2% present adoption rate. The numbers indicate the industry’s enormous potential and the possibilities that may come with it, and Dubai moved to create a place for virtual assets services providers (VASPs) to thrive.

VARA aligns with Dubai’s vision of becoming a global hub for the digital economy fueled by the metaverse, blockchain, and Web 3.0; it operates as an independent governing body and aims to expand its initiative by developing a straightforward framework to regulate the industry and attract investments in the emirate.

VARA, the newly launched government-related authority, had no previous online presence and deficient information about its licenses, how they serve people, VASPs, and the economy.

Due to the events in the virtual assets industry at the time, with many big industry players moving to UAE in a short period, VARA reached out to MBLM to develop a brand promise and identity, go-to-market announcement, and a microsite experience to bring the framework to the Dubai market and allow newcomers to get a license online.

Variations of the VARA brand identity against various colored backgrounds.

Considering their goal and audiences, MBLM also crafted a compelling brand promise, a modern identity, and a design system inspired by the futuristic nature of an emerging industry. We focused on VARA’s aim to support genuine initiatives and equip digital asset investors and business owners with the tools to thrive.

Balancing the nature of the approach of the virtual assets industry and the authoritative nature of the regulatory unit, MBLM created a unique design that represents a brick-and-mortar venue with a futuristic, digital approach.

Pages from the VARA brand guidelines placed on top of an orange background.

MBLM also created a unique microsite experience for VARA, which features a directory of regulations. It describes why Dubai is an excellent place for VASPs to start their virtual assets company, how VASPs can obtain their license, and a straightforward online license application.

The VARA microsite has garnered impressive attention worldwide in under a year, particularly from the UAE, US, UK, India, and Russia. It has generated 33K unique visitors, a 1.26 min average time spent (compared to a 54-sec global average), and 23K downloads of key documents such as regulations and company rule books.

MBLM proceeded to work closely with VARA to transition from a microsite to a complete website experience, its content, and integrating a third-party regulations directory, meanwhile VARA was still finalizing the regulations based on the movements of the ever-changing global virtual assets industry.

UI design of the VARA corporate website against an orange background.

For TIME Magazine’s metaverse edition, we created a never-seen-before ad with a captivating headline, ‘Think Outside the Block,’ that communicated the advent of blockchain’s data storage units, blocks.

VARA's TIME magazine ad placed on a mockup of a magazine.

MBLM also developed a video for the VARA event at the Museum of the Future, which was received pleasantly by the industry professionals who met to discuss the future of virtual assets.

“MBLM has been a true partner – believing in the vision and mission of VARA and translating it into an effective communications toolkit from an identity and promise to the messaging and website. The subtlety of the VARA mark captures agility and simplicity as the DNA of this regulator in the ever-evolving Virtual Asset space.”

– Deepa Raja Carbon, Managing Director, Vice Chairperson – Executive Board

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