Japan’s Multi-Billion Asset Bank, Nomura, Launches Crypto Custody with Coinshares, Ledger

One of Japan’s oldest financial institutions, Nomura bank, announced the launch of Komainu, a digital assets custodial service aimed at financial institutions, in partnership with cryptocurrency fund manager, Coinshares and hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger.

The service aims at offering a KYC/AML compliant and secure platform for institutions to store their crypto assets.

Nomura, with over $230 billion in assets under management (AUM), represents the largest bank yet to become a custodial service provider. Big banks are finally getting their hands dirty in the digital asset space, competing with nascent companies such as Coinbase and Gemini.

The Komainu Custody Service

The Komainu project, licensed by the Jersey Financial Service Commission, will be led by the CEO and co-founder of Coinshares, Jean-Marie Mognetti. The executive board comprises different experts in the financial field, including former fund manager at Credit Suisse Group AG, Kenton Farmer, as head of operations.

The former head of cyber defense at Banco Santander, Andrew Morfill, will be chief information officer and Susan Patterson, formerly at UBS and Credit Suisse will head the regulatory and compliance department.

Mognetti believes the Komainu platform will open up the field for more industrial partners to join the crypto field by harnessing the expertise of all the three partners. He further said:

“Komainu bridges the gap by bringing financial expertise and capabilities for institutional clients to feel confident their assets are in safe hands.”

Focus on KYC/AML Compliance

Institutional investment heavily ties digital assets custodial services choice to its ability to secure the capital raised and regulations observed, CEO of Ledger, Pascal Gauthier, said in a statement. He further added that failure meeting any of these requirements would “weaponize the digital assets against them.”

The competitive advantages that Komainu brings to institutions – KYC/AML compliance and secure cold storage services – aims to bridge this gap between traditional finance and digital assets. Jezri Mohideen, Global Chief Digital Officer at Nomura, aims at building the custodial service “as a regulated and secure digital asset custody solution” for its clients.

Further Efforts in Blockchain Development

Nomura Bank’s investment into the Komainu project signals a growing interest in the digital assets space by the largest financial institutions in the world. Previously Intercontinental Exchange’s, Bakkt, and Fidelity Investments were the highest-ranking regulated banks offering digital assets custody.

However, Nomura’s interest in blockchain technology has not started recently. For example, the Komainu project was first launched in May 2018, with the bank forming a Japanese Blockchain Alliance in early 2019.

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