One of Japan’s largest investment banks, Nomura, is establishing a new venture capital division to make investments in the cryptocurrency market.
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 launch two more products for investors and secondary trading.
Nomura first announced plans to launch a new cryptocurrency company in May. It stated at the time that the entity will offer goods and services related to cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, DeFi, NFTs, and other tokens to institutional clients and investors. Laser Digital Holdings AG, the bank’s crypto holding company, has been established in Switzerland.
“Staying at the vanguard of digital innovation is a major objective for Nomura,” said Kentaro Okuda, president and group CEO of Nomura.
Steven Ashley and Jez Mohideen will serve as chairman and CEO of Nomura’s Laser Digital crypto company, respectively. Ashley has stood aside from his prior position as the bank’s head of wholesale business as part of his new post.
2010 saw Ashley join Nomura. Ashley’s leadership will be “essential to the growth and success of our new digital asset business,” according to a second statement from Okuda.