HONG KONG (Reuters) – Nomura has begun offering over-the-counter bitcoin derivatives to customers, it said Friday, the latest move by a traditional financial institution in the cryptocurrency industry even as markets are in turmoil.
The trades, carried out this week by crypto asset trading Cumberland DRW on the CME, were the Japanese investment bank’s first digital asset trades, Rig Karkhanis, head of markets at Nomura, Asia ex-Japan, said in a statement.
“By partnering with institutional-grade counterparties, we can respond to the increasing demand from our clients,” he said.
Many global investment banks have attempted to offer clients more crypto-related services, in response to demands from institutional investors and retail clients for access to what has been a burgeoning sector.
However, crypto markets collapsed this week when a meltdown in TerraUSD, one of the world’s largest stablecoins, sent digital tokens, already swept up in a sell-off of riskier assets, into a meltdown.
Bitcoin hit a 16-month low of about $25,400 on Thursday.
(Reporting by Alun John; editing by Kim Coghill)