Japanese merchant bank Nomura has set up a new venture to provide safekeeping and custody services for cryptocurrency-denominated assets managed by institutional investors.
The new business unit, dubbed Komainu, brings together expertise from banking, asset administration, fund management, trading and digital asset security, in a bid to provide a robust safekeeping services for investment houses looking to gain exposure to the rapidly emerging asset class.
Founders include Nomura, security business Ledger, and investment house Global Advisors, the parent company of CoinShares.
Approximately one-in-five financial institutions surveyed by Thomson Reuters last month are considering introducing crypto trading desks within the next twelve months.
Jez Mohideen, global chief digital officer, wholesale at Nomura, says: “Global investment managers have long been held back from full participation in digital asset markets, limited by operational and regulatory risk. Our new partnership will set the required standards that will bring peace of mind to digital asset investors, and provide tools and products to enable better integration with more traditional investment vehicles such as mutual funds.”
He says the venture will provide infrastructure and an operational framework to the wider investment management industry and enable investors to "embed or implement a consistent set of best practice standards within their businesses".
Jean-Marie Mognetti, co-principal of Global Advisors, comments: “Since its first digital asset trade in 2012, Global Advisors, the parent company of CoinShares, has been looking for a robust custody solution, the likes of which are readily available in the analogue financial system. After 6 years of research - and collaboration with our administration partner and its regulator - we now have demonstrable progress."