Nomura, Japan's largest investment bank, is preparing to launch a new cryptocurrency business

The largest Japanese bank aims to open a crypto unit outside of Japan and hire roughly 100 people to work in the digital asset industry.

Nomura, Japan's largest investment bank, is forming a new subsidiary firm to assist institutional clients in investing in bitcoin and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

People familiar with Nomura's plans told the Financial Times on Tuesday that by 2023, the firm will combine numerous crypto services under one single company with a staff of roughly 100 people.

With $569 billion in assets under management as of Q1 2022, Nomura is one of Japan's 10 largest banks.

The subsidiary firm will be founded abroad, according to Nikkei Asia, but the board will initially be made up of Nomura transplants as the company seeks out expertise in the Web3 and blockchain space. It will be overseen by Jez Mohideen, Nomura's head of wholesale digital operations.

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The bank appears to be under increasing pressure to learn more about blockchain technology and the booming digital asset business. "If we don't do this," a Nomura executive told the Financial Times, "it will be more difficult to be competitive down the road."

Nomura's decision to extend its crypto services comes at an interesting time for the company. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the bank has begun selling Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives trading to Asian clients. CME Group's platform, which handled 6,944 Bitcoin futures contracts on May 16, executes trades.

Furthermore, following last week's big sell-offs triggered by the Terra platform's implosion, crypto values have fallen across the board.

Nomura now faces the prospect of losing the majority of its quarterly profits due to a $345 million writedown on a transaction that occurred during the 2008 economic slump, as reported by the Financial Times on Tuesday. The bank has not stated which transaction was involved. A writedown is when the value of a transaction or asset is reduced.

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