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Nomura launches Laser Digital Holdings to enter the crypto market

Nomura's Komainu provides custody services for crypto assets including Bitcoin

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Sep 23, 2022 06:12:42 PM IST

Nomura launches Laser Digital Holdings to enter the crypto marketImage: Shutterstock

The Laser Digital Holdings, a venture capital division specialising in crypto assets, was announced on Wednesday by Nomura Holdings, a Japanese financial holding firm and the main member of the Nomura Group. Nomura made its move this year after a string of financial titans entered the Bitcoin industry.

Nomura Holdings, a major player in Japanese investment banking, is entering the market for crypto assets and will introduce several new services and product lines in the upcoming months. Nomura is one of the biggest and most established investment banks in Japan.

The new Laser Digital Holdings, a holding company with Swiss corporate status, intends to launch three vertical product lines: investor products, venture capital, and secondary trading. Jez Mohideen will serve as the new company's CEO, and Steven Ashley will serve as Laser Digital's chairman.

CEO Kentaro Okuda and the investment bank's president stated, "Staying at the forefront of digital innovation is a key priority for Nomura…This is why, alongside our efforts to diversify our business, we announced earlier this year that Nomura would be setting up a new subsidiary focused [on] digital assets."

The venture capital offering from Laser Digital, Laser Venture Capital, will concentrate on Web3, blockchain, and centralised and decentralised financial infrastructure investments. Laser Digital claimed that in the 'coming months,' it would introduce further goods and services geared toward investor and secondary trade.

Nomura has been releasing new crypto services since the beginning of the year. However, the business made its initial step into the crypto market in 2020, when it provided institutional investors with custody services for Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos. This service, which Nomura called 'Komainu,' included key market capitalisation currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), and others.

The business disclosed in May 2022 that it is expanding its crypto services to fulfil the needs of institutional clientele. It said that it has started supplying its Asian clients with Bitcoin derivatives. Nomura worked with CME Group to use its derivatives services platform to achieve this.

Nomura intended to establish a crypto subsidiary with a board of directors of Japanese expatriates until it could hire local expertise. The subsidiary would be situated outside Japan and invest in crypto and non-fungible tokens.

The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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