Happy Friday Everyone! 👋
With macro firmly in the driver’s seat for the time being, we’re keeping an eye on everything happening “off the field”.
This week, in a lawsuit filed against a crypto influencer, the SEC used language that suggests it considers the entire Ethereum ETH/USD network to be under its jurisdiction.
Over in the US House of Representatives, a bill has been drafted that would criminalize the issuance of algorithmic stablecoins (think Terra).
Meanwhile, across the pond, US dollar-pegged-token enthusiasts scored a win as the EU dropped limitations on stablecoins from its landmark “markets in crypto-assets” (MiCA) regulatory framework.
Having said that…let’s get to it!
Nasdaq jumps into crypto
Nomura launches crypto VC unit
VC firms want equity, not tokens
1. Nasdaq jumps into crypto
Nasdaq NDAQ has already had its toes dipped into the crypto waters.
Crypto exchanges have been using the company’s matching engine technology while other firms in the crypto sphere outsource its surveillance and trading software.
Now, the world’s second-largest stock exchange is going head first by creating a new digital assets division that will act as a custodian of digital assets and initially offer Bitcoin and Ethereum to institutional investors.
As such, it will be competing with players like Coinbase and BitGo, while also bringing an entirely different (and refreshing?) air to the space.
Eventually, Nasdaq’s aim is to offer additional solutions like execution and liquidity services, and possibly even a crypto exchange.
“We believe this next wave of the revolution is going to be driven by mass institutional adoption. I can think of no better place to bring that trust and brand to the market than Nasdaq.”
-Ira Auerbach (head of new digital assets division)
Wall Street establishment firms are no longer “wading” into crypto—they’ve taken the downturn as an opportunity to jump in.
2. Nomura launches crypto VC unit
On the other wide of the world, another major player in the global finance industry is also making moves to cement its place in the crypto sphere.
Back in May, Nomura—one of Japan’s largest investment banks with mover $450 billion in assets under management—announced that it would be creating a crypto company.
This week, the finance giant announced the creation of a new digital assets business which will act as its foothold in the space
“Staying at the forefront of digital innovation is a key priority for Nomura.”
– CEO Kentaro Okuda
The forefront = crypto.
Laser Digital’s first order of business is launching Nomura’s first VC unit which has been named Laser Venture Capital.
The VC firm will look to invest in the digital ecosystem with a focus on DeFi, CeFi, web3, and blockchain infrastructure startups.
Like we said, jumping in.
3. VC firms want equity, not tokens
The landscape that Laser Venture Capital is entering has been shifting.
For crypto VC, the new favorite route to invest in startups is no longer via pure token sales and SAFTs (Simple Agreements for Future Tokens).
With increased uncertainty around US “regulation” and even more confusion surrounding what does and does not constitute a security, investors have shied away from putting tokens at the heart of deals.
Instead, the trend for crypto VC firms has shifted to hybrid deals which combine traditional equity stakes with tokens thrown in (on a nominal basis with no value attributed) as sweeteners of sorts.
Another reason for the shift? Control. Tokens allow for some governance but have their limitations.
Equity, on the other hand, provides far more rights which means this new formula for crypto VC deals is likely to stay.