Nomura’s Crypto Arm Invests in Institutional Hybrid DeFi Protocol Infinity Exchange

The investment showcases a growing trend of merging DeFi infrastructure and TradFi solutions to enable tokenizing traditional assets and to create blockchain-based markets for institutional investors.

AccessTimeIconFeb 15, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:08 a.m. UTC
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Japanese investment banking giant Nomura’s digital asset subsidiary, Laser Digital, has made a strategic investment in institutional-grade decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Infinity Exchange, the firms announced Wednesday.

Neither Laser Digital nor Infinity disclosed details about the size of the investment or valuation.

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  • Infinity is a hybrid lending and borrowing platform that combines blockchain-based, permissionless settlements with traditional finance (TradFi) processes and risk management. Founded by a Morgan Stanley alum, the protocol focuses on offering fixed and floating interest rate markets and crypto yield curve to institutional investors.

    “Infinity’s groundwork paves the way for institutional flows on-chain, new levels of rates and risk innovation,” Olivier Dang, head of ventures at Laser, said in a statement.

    The investment highlights a growing trend of merging crypto-native DeFi infrastructure and TradFi solutions to enable the tokenization of assets such as credit and creating blockchain-based markets for institutional investors.

    DeFi protocol Clearpool is set to launch its institutional-grade platform in the next months, while Maple Finance recently unveiled a tax receivables lending pool. Onyx, American banking giant JPMorgan’s hybrid protocol, settled over $300 billion of intraday repurchase (repo) deals as of November.

    The Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) latest crypto guidelines gave the asset tokenization trend some tailwind, according to the press release. Starting in 2025, tokenized traditional assets will be subject to the same risk weight as their original counterparts in the banking books, according to the BIS guidelines.

    “With US$300 trillion of credit securities outstanding and multiples of that in the loan, derivative, and equity markets, the new guidelines portend a major wave of tokenization across financial and real assets,” the press release said.

    The investment follows Infinity’s $4.2 million seed funding round, with trading heavyweights such as CMS, GSR and Susquehanna among the investors.

    The Japanese financial services firm started trading crypto derivatives last year and was among the first banks to explore digital asset custody. Last year, the company unveiled Laser Digital, a subsidiary dedicated to digital asset investments and trading.

    CORRECTION (Feb 15, 09:44 UTC): Corrects spelling of Infinity throughout. An earlier version spelled it as Infiniti.


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    Krisztian  Sandor

    Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

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