Nomura announced Friday that it has begun trading bitcoin over-the-counter futures to clients, marking the latest step by a traditional commercial bank into the crypto business at a time when markets are volatile.
Nomura offers its first bitcoin derivatives
This week, Japanese investment firm Nomura began trading bitcoin derivative contracts, joining competitors such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan in providing customers with access to the cryptocurrency market. According to an emailed statement from the bank, the firm has launched over-the-counter cryptocurrency derivatives including bitcoin quasi forwards and non-deliverable options for Asian clients based in Singapore.
The trades, performed on the CME by cryptocurrencies investment firm Cumberland DRW this week, were Nomura’s first digital asset trades, according to Rig Karkhanis, the company’s head of markets, Asia ex-Japan. Working with institutional-grade counterparties, he noted, will allow them to scale to meet our clients’ growing need.
Several major investment firms have been attempting to offer more crypto-related services to its customers, ostensibly in response to pressure from investment firms and individual customers for exposure to what has been a rapidly developing market.
Nevertheless, the crypto market have fallen this week after a breakdown in TerraUSD, another of the world’s major stablecoins, threw digital tokens into meltdown, which had already been caught up in a sales of risky investments.
The launch comes with a moment of heightened volatility in the cryptocurrency market, precipitated by the sudden collapse of Terra’s LUNA stablecoin and decentralized banking network. This week, the whole cryptocurrency market valuation has plunged by nearly 30%.
Nomura was one of the first banks to investigate crypto asset custody, entering the Komainu custody joint venture in June 2020 with investment firm CoinShares and conservatorship specialist Ledger. In 2020, the Nomura Research Institute, the bank’s economic consultancy arm, created a crypto-asset index that follows the Japanese cryptocurrency industry.
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