Banking giant Nomura Holdings Inc. recently stated that its cryptocurrency unit, Laser Digital, could take longer than expected to turn profitable amid the recent rout in the crypto market.
Nomura started its crypto unit last year in September 2022 with the goal of turning it profitable by 2024. Laser Digital Chief Executive Officer Jez Mohideen said that the crypto unit faces the heat of the sector’s turmoil. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mohideen said:
“Our profitability journey may take a bit longer than we forecast a year ago. Volumes have come down, activity has shrunk, regulators’ needs are changing – all these are leading to some delays in our overall journey including profitability.”
Soon after the launch of Nomura’s Laser Digital crypto unit, the crypto market suffered the collapse of FTX leading to a major market correction. The crash eroded more than $2 trillion from the cryptocurrency market leading to a major liquidity crunch and regulatory crackdowns worldwide.
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Mohideen is optimistic that the growing interest from well-established financial giants such as BlackRock Inc. and other institutions in the crypto space will bring about a positive shift for digital assets. In June, the world’s largest asset manager filed a request in the US to introduce exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for spot Bitcoin.
Additionally, EDX Markets, a crypto exchange supported by companies like Citadel Securities, Fidelity Digital Assets, and Charles Schwab Corp, made its debut earlier this year. Mohideen said:
“More institutions and institutional projects coming in despite the market turmoil gives me confidence. The future is brighter but it may take longer.”
The Zurich-based company is also looking to expand to other global destinations. Laser Digital recently obtained a license to conduct operations in Dubai, enabling it to gradually introduce its three core business segments – trading, asset management, and venture capital – in the emirate.
Laser Digital has recruited 70 professionals thus far, with intentions to expand its team by up to 20 more individuals over time. As part of Nomura’s crypto subsidiary, the company is in the process of establishing an office in Tokyo to provide support for its global trading activities, as stated by Mohideen. He further mentioned that the Tokyo office will be hiring between 4 to 6 personnel.
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