Nomura, crypto partners launch digital asset custodian Komainu

FILE PHOTO- The logo of Nomura Securities is pictured at the company's Otemachi Head Office in Tokyo, Japan, November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Japanese bank Nomura Holdings Inc and cryptocurrency partners Ledger and CoinShares launched Komainu, a custodian to safeguard digital assets for financial institutions, on Wednesday.

The joint venture, announced in 2018, is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the companies said in a statement. It will be led by CoinShares Co-Founder and Chief Executive Jean-Marie Mognetti.

“We have been trialing the platform with a limited number of clients for four to five months and are now launching to new clients,” Mognetti said in an interview.

Komainu’s debut comes as more established financial firms explore offering custody and other services for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and other digital assets.

Several large financial institutions, including Nomura, are hoping that traditional assets such as bonds or stocks can be digitized and issued using blockchain technology to cut costs and simplify some processes.

The dearth of back-office services by major financial service providers has long prevented wider adoption of digital assets.

“We have been very focused on the evolution of the digital asset ecosystem,” Jezri Mohideen, global chief digital officer for wholesale at Nomura, said in an interview. “For us it was critical that we solve the custody issue.”

Investment manager Fidelity and exchange conglomerate Intercontinental Exchange Inc also offer custody for digital assets.

Komainu can integrate with the technology systems of financial institutions, the partners said. It will only accept clients and tokens that have passed anti-money laundering and provenance checks.

Komainu’s executive team includes Kenton Farmer as head of operations. He has worked at Credit Suisse Group Ag and Hermes Fund Managers.

Andrew Morfill, former global head of cyber defense at Banco Santander, will be chief information security officer. Susan Patterson, a former regulator, will serve as head of regulatory affairs. She has previously worked at Credit Suisse, Brevan Howard and UBS.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.