Nomura lures institutional investors with new bitcoin fund

abdelaziz Fathi

Nomura’s digital assets subsidiary Laser Digital has launched its Bitcoin Adoption Fund, designed to provide institutional investors with a streamlined entry into the digital asset space. The new fund is part of Laser Digital Funds SPC, a Segregated Portfolio Company, which is registered as a mutual fund.

Nomura to close derivatives business

To ensure security for the fund’s assets, Laser is partnering with Komainu, a regulated digital asset custody solution founded by Nomura, Ledger, and Coinshares. Both Laser Digital and Komainu recently obtained an operating license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), enabling them to offer various digital asset trading services and investment products.

Sebastien Guglietta, who has a background as the Chief Scientist Officer at Nomura and experience as a Portfolio Manager at Brevan Howard, is leading Laser Digital Asset Management’s operations.

Laser said in a statement that the Bitcoin Adoption Fund, which offers long-only exposure to Bitcoin, is the first of a broader suite of digital adoption investment tools that it plans to roll out in the near future. The firm, which already started offering Bitcoin derivatives to clients in Asia, will launch a range of products linked to stablecoins, decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other assets.

“Technology is a key driver of global economic growth and is transforming a large part of the economy from analogue to digital. Bitcoin is one of the enablers of this long-lasting transformational change and long-term exposure to Bitcoin offers a solution to investors to capture this macro trend,” said Guglietta.

Nomura is Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment bank with assets totaling over $500 billion. The news comes at a time when both start-ups and major financial institutions are rushing to get new crypto tools to Main Street investors.

Back in 2020, Nomura has gone live with its own cryptocurrency custody service for institutions in partnership with blockchain security firm Ledger and the fund manager CoinShares. The joint venture, named Komainu, secured regulatory approvals from the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Komainu was first announced in 2018 to overcome barriers to institutional investment in digital assets through a compliant platform powered by a bespoke environment created by Ledger, creators of the Nano S wallet. The venture provides infrastructure and an operational framework to the wider investment management industry and enables investors to embed a set of best practice standards within their businesses.

In addition to Nomura’s vast experience, the parent company behind CoinShares, Global Advisors, has a wealth of experience in commodity trading, hedge funds, FX trading and exchange-traded products.

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