In the present day, Nomura subsidiary dedicated to digital assets, Laser Digital, revealed its Bitcoin Adoption Fund, which targets institutional investors. This fund, domiciled in the Cayman Islands, operates as a long-only mutual fund, with the custody of digital assets being safeguarded by Komainu.
Nomura, in collaboration with the tech security company Ledger and the asset management firm Coinshares, co-founded Komainu back in 2018. Sebastien Guglietta, the Head of Laser Digital Asset Management, emphasized, “Technology stands as a pivotal catalyst for global economic expansion, ushering in a substantial shift from analog to digital realms. Bitcoin, in particular, emerges as a potent enabler of this enduring transformative paradigm.”
Guglietta, the helmsman of this fund, previously held the esteemed position of Chief Scientist at Nomura. Prior to that, he assumed identical roles at Brevan Howard and served as a portfolio manager.
Asset management constitutes the second facet of Laser Digital’s overarching strategy. Its inaugural foray involved a venture capital fund, which strategically channeled investments into the realm of web3, particularly DeFi. The third arm will be dedicated to digital asset trading. The acquisition of Elysium, a post-trade solution tailored for both FX and digital assets, aligns seamlessly with this trajectory.
Institutional Bitcoin funds have piqued significant interest within the cryptocurrency community. The much-anticipated authorization of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the U.S. holds the potential to catalyze widespread consumer adoption. Nevertheless, exchange-traded products of this nature have already been accessible in other jurisdictions. A notable instance is the Coinshares Physical Crypto ETP.
Moreover, institutions have had avenues to gain exposure to Bitcoin without the need to directly hold cryptocurrencies. Several prominent financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, entered into partnerships with specialized crypto asset managers such as NYDIG and Galaxy Digital. As of January, NYDIG managed multiple funds, boasting an aggregate value exceeding $750 million within its NYDIG Institutional Bitcoin Fund. BlackRock, in the previous year, unveiled a Bitcoin investment trust.
Then there’s the widely-discussed Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which witnessed a price discount to its net asset value of nearly 50% at the outset of the year. Though it has since rebounded. The deficit now stands at a relatively more modest 20% following a successful legal outcome in a lawsuit against SEC.