Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment bank, Nomura, has just 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, has secured the regulatory approvals from the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
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. BNY Mellon and Bakkt have also set up a crypto-custody service, under which the Wall Street bank’s history of safeguarding the assets of institutional clients could be leveraged to store Bakkt’s digital assets.
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 enable 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.
Komainu will be led by a team of experts handpicked from Nomura, Ledger and CoinShares. The latter’s CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti will take the helm of Komainu. Kenton Farmer will serve as head of operations, bringing experience from financial service institutions such as Credit Suisse. Andrew Morfill, who participated in building the Cyber Intelligence division at Vodafone Group, will take on the role of chief information security officer.
“Through the joint venture between Nomura, Ledger and CoinShares we have successfully bridged the gap between legacy finance and emerging technology, establishing Komainu as a regulated and secure digital asset custody solution tailored to the needs of institutional clients. Komainu will act as a foundational pillar to Nomura’s digital asset strategy, enabling the firm to further progress with its initiatives across the full digital asset value chain, thereby setting out to become one of the leaders in the institutional digital asset industry,” said Jezri Mohideen, Global Chief Digital Officer at Nomura.