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Nomura’s crypto arm launches ‘long-only’ bitcoin exposure fund

by Janine Lindsey

Laser Digital, the crypto unit of Japanese banking giant Nomura, has recently announced the launch of its asset management business with a bitcoin fund. The Bitcoin Adoption Fund aims to provide “long-only” exposure to bitcoin for institutional investors. This move further solidifies the growing interest and acceptance of cryptocurrencies among traditional financial institutions.

The fund is part of Laser Digital Funds SPC, which is registered as a mutual fund with the Cayman Islands Regulatory Authority. Laser Digital has chosen Komainu, a company co-founded by Nomura in 2018 with Ledger and CoinShares, as the custodian for the fund’s assets. With this launch, Laser Digital plans to introduce a range of crypto investment products in the future.

The timing of the fund launch coincides with bitcoin’s recent surge above $27,000, reaching its highest value since August. Despite trading rangebound for the last few months, bitcoin’s growing popularity and potential as a long-term investment opportunity have remained intact.

Leading the asset management business at Laser Digital is Sebastian Guglietta, the former chief scientist officer at Nomura. He brings a wealth of experience in portfolio management and scientific expertise from his previous role at Brevan Howard. Fiona King, who joined Laser Digital earlier this year from Nickel Digital Asset Management, serves as the head of distribution at Laser Digital Asset Management.

Guglietta emphasized the significance of technology in driving global economic growth and transforming the analogue economy into a digital one. He believes that bitcoin plays a crucial role in this transformative change, and long-term exposure to the cryptocurrency presents an opportunity for investors to capture this macro trend.

Laser Digital’s venture into the asset management space follows its establishment a year ago, where it focused on three core areas: venture capital, asset management, and trading. Laser Venture Capital has already invested in more than ten crypto startups, including Orderly Network, WebN Group, and Infinity Exchange. In addition, Laser Digital acquired Elysium Technology Group to provide post-trade solutions for over-the-counter foreign exchange and digital assets.

Furthermore, Laser Digital’s Dubai entity recently obtained operating license approval from the city’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority. This approval allows Laser Digital to offer crypto broker-dealer and asset management services from its Dubai entity, expanding its presence in the rapidly growing digital asset market in the Middle East.

As the crypto industry continues to evolve and gain mainstream adoption, Laser Digital’s entrance into the asset management space further validates the growing acceptance and recognition of cryptocurrencies as viable investment options. Institutional investors now have an opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin through a trusted and regulated entity, which may lead to increased interest and investment in the cryptocurrency market.

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