Nomura Has Launched a Crypto-Focused VC Unit

  • Nomura is establishing a new venture capital division.
  • The unit will invest in businesses within the digital ecosystem.
  • Steven Ashley and Jez Mohideen will lead the new division.

One of Japan’s largest investment banks, Nomura, is establishing a new venture capital division to make investments in the cryptocurrency market.

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According to a statement released by Nomura on Wednesday, the unit will invest in businesses within the digital ecosystem with a focus on web3, blockchain infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi), and centralized finance (CeFi).

The first offering from Nomura’s new digital assets division, Laser Digital, which was given the name today, will be Laser Venture Capital. The bank intends to offer two more products for investors and secondary trading.

The newest offering from Nomura comes after Tuesday’s announcement of a new crypto custody initiative by Nasdaq. 

Additionally, prior to the announcements from Nomura and Nasdaq, Fidelity Digital Assets, Citadel Securities, and Charles Schwab Corp launched a joint initiative with ambitions to build a cryptocurrency exchange that will serve both retail and institutional clients. 

The trading platform’s CEO is former Citadel Securities executive Jamil Nazarali, and the three financial institutions have given the exchange the moniker EDX Markets (EDXM).

Nomura’s president and chief executive officer, Kentaro Okuda, stated on Wednesday that the investment bank places a high focus on being at the forefront of technological advancement. 

This is the reason we announced earlier this year that Nomura would be establishing a new subsidiary focused on digital assets in addition to our efforts to diversify our company.

Kentaro Okuda

As chairman and CEO, respectively, Steven Ashley and Jez Mohideen will lead Nomura’s Laser Digital cryptocurrency division. Ashley has resigned from his prior position as the bank’s head of its wholesale division in order to take on the new post.

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