On Friday (May 13), Japanese investment bank Nomura announced that it had started offering over-the-counter (OTC) Bitcoin derivatives to its client in Asia.

Nomura Holdings, Inc. is “a Japanese financial holding company and a principal member of the Nomura Group.” It — alongside “its broker-dealer, banking and other financial services subsidiaries” — provides “investment, financing and related services to individual, institutional, and government customers on a global basis with an emphasis on securities businesses.”

According to a report by Reuters published earlier today, Rig Karkhanis, who is Nomura’s head of markets, Asia (ex-Japan), said in a statement that “the trades, executed on the CME by crypto asset trading firm Cumberland DRW this week, were the Japanese investment bank’s first digital asset trades.”

He then added:

Working with institutional-grade counterparties will allow us to scale into the increasing demand from our clients.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s report on this story says that Tim Albers, who is Nomura’s head of forex structuring in Asia (ex-Japan), told them in an interview that “Japan’s biggest brokerage is offering non-deliverable forwards and non-deliverable options settled in cash, and can now trade Bitcoin futures and options.”

Albers also said:

There has been significant volatility recently… Once the dust settles, valuations will become more attractive for institutional clients. We’re pretty excited to get this off the ground.

The Bloomberg report went on to say that “Nomura is tapping resources within its Singapore-based foreign exchange team and its wholesale digital office for the crypto expansion in its global markets division” and that “the brokerage plans to expand its trading capabilities across other global markets over time.”

Nomura’s expansion comes as crypto firms face growing scrutiny from policymakers in the U.S., prompting some to hunt down less bureaucratic jurisdictions like Bermuda. Cryptocurrencies and other risky assets are also under pressure after the Federal Reserve and other central banks raised interest rates to fight inflation, creating an unfavorable environment for such assets. 

According to a report by CoinDesk, XP, which is Brazil’s largest brokerage by market, announced on Thursday (May 12) that it is planning to launch a crypto trading platform named XTAGE by the end of next month. XTAGE, which is built with Nasdaq’s trading technology, will enable around 3.5 million users to buy and sell $BTC and $ETH. Crypto custody firm BitGo is said to be responsible for storing XTAGE’s digital assets.

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The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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