Global investment bank Nomura, hardware wallet company Ledger and crypto investment fund CoinShares today launched a long-awaited crypto custodian service, called Komainu.
First announced in May 2018, Komainu will service institutional investors and support a range of cryptocurrencies. It is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
Komainu is headed by Jean-Marie Mognetti, the co-founder and CEO of CoinShares. Andrew Morfill left his position at Santander, where he commanded its cyber defense unit, to join Komainu as Head of Operations.
Mognetti said in a statement that: "What this partnership has highlighted is the need for credible and solid service providers to support industry participants. Komainu bridges the gap by bringing financial expertise and capabilities for institutional clients to feel confident their assets are in safe hands.”
Mognetti told Reuters that the platform has been trialed with a small number of clients for four to five months. Komainu’s advantages over other systems are, it claims, that it can integrate with the technology systems of large financial institutions.
The CEO of Ledger, Pascal Gauthier, said in a statement that “Institutions are looking for compliance and security when it comes to the custody of digital assets.” He added that, without the proper security, “institutions' digital assets are weaponised against them.”
Nomura is the latest large financial institution to offer custody services. Fidelity also offers a custodian, as does Bakkt, the custodian and Bitcoin futures platform owned by the Intercontinental Exchange, which also runs the New York Stock Exchange.
Nomura in January launched a crypto-asset benchmark for Japanese investors. Called the NRI/IU Crypto-Asset Index, the benchmark tracks top cryptocurrencies, among them Bitcoin and Ethereum. Nomura is also on the governing council of blockchain network Hedera Hashgraph, where it lords over the network alongside Google and Deutsche Telekom.
The institutional investors, it appears, are here to stay.