(Bloomberg) -- Michael Ashby, who most recently led the digital-asset strategic implementation at hedge fund firm Point72, has joined the proprietary crypto trading firm AlgoQuant.

Ashby, who joined AlgoQuant in April as chief executive officer, said in an interview that the firm is seeking to expand into asset management in the digital sector. He has relocated from New York to Dubai, as part of AlgoQuant’s plans to build out operations in the United Arab Emirates. The firm expects to offer asset management services primarily in Asia and Europe.

The market opportunities for digital asset management have grown in the past year, Ashby said, citing the approval and launch of several Bitcoin exchange-traded products in the US, and a “generational shift” in the perspective of wealth.

“With the recent launch of Bitcoin ETFs, what’s been proven is that there is a demand for a regulated crypto product,” said Ashby, 42. “Our feeling is that we can create a next innovative product within that space in a regulated wrapper and we believe that for institutional investors, family offices and the mining community, this type of yield product will be very interesting to them.”

Like many other crypto companies, AlgoQuant’s has chosen to build its foundation in the oil-rich region. UAE has been ramping up efforts to attract the crypto industry, a sharp contrast to the increased regulatory crackdown on crypto in the US.

“I think the crypto community here is just as strong as it was in Europe,” Ashby said from Dubai. “From a regulatory standpoint, they’re being very thoughtful for thinking in terms of how they’re approaching the space, which I think was one of the key considerations when we wanted to explore starting up this new business here.”

Ashby left Point72 in November, and before that he was at Meraki Global Advisors. He declined to comment about his exit from Steve Cohen’s Point72, citing confidentiality.

AlgoQuant currently has fewer than 10 employees, but Ashby said they plan to bring in more people with experience both in traditional finance and crypto.

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