Coinshares, Nomura and Ledger launch digital asset custodian for institutional investors

Digital asset management company CoinShares has launched a new custody business for institutional investors. 

The venture, called Komainu, also includes Japanese investment bank Nomura, as well as digital assets security company Ledger. 

The so-called custody rule requires U.S. investors with more than $150 million in assets under management to store them with what the Securities and Exchange Commission calls a “qualified custodian.” Since the ownership of digital assets is linked to the possession of private cryptographic keys, digital asset custodians must safeguard these keys. 

According to a Wednesday announcement, CoinShares decided to launch its own digital asset custody business after carrying out an extensive review of current products on the market and concluding that none were “built to meet its security standards or the needs of its businesses.”

The firm claims that Komainu will be “the first hybrid institutional-grade custody platform that could seamlessly integrate with legacy financial technology.” 

Nomura and Ledger announced more than two years ago that they were working together on a digital asset custody service. According to CoinShares CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti (who is also the CEO of Komainu), the team spent a year analyzing business cases and another year getting regulated. After receiving their regulatory license in November 2019 from the Jersey Financial Services Commission, where Coinshares is based, the team sought feedback from experts and conducted tests to upgrade their product, he said. 

“We have now reached a critical size both in the number of transactions and overall assets under custody to feel confident to open Komainu to new institutional clients,” Mognetti added. 

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Nomura as the parent company of Coinshares. We regret the error.