Happy Friday everyone! 👋
While Makro is firmly in the driver’s seat for now, we’re keeping a close eye on everything that’s happening “off the field”.
This week, in a lawsuit against a crypto influencer, the SEC used language that suggests it covers all of Ethereum ETH/USD network under its jurisdiction.
Over in the US House of Representatives, a bill was being drafted that would criminalize the issuance of algorithmic stablecoins (think Terra).
Across the pond, US dollar-pegged token enthusiasts scored a victory as the EU lifted restrictions on stablecoins from its landmark Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA) regulatory framework.
That being said… let’s get down to business!
Nasdaq jumps into crypto
Nomura launches crypto VC entity
VC firms want equity, not tokens
1. Nasdaq enters crypto
Nasdaq NDAQ has already dipped his toes in the crypto water.
Crypto exchanges have used the company’s matching engine technology, while other firms in the crypto space outsource their monitoring and trading software.
Now, the world’s second-largest exchange is moving forward with the creation of a new digital assets division that will act as a custodian of digital assets, offering Bitcoin and Ethereum to institutional investors initially.
As such, it will compete with the likes of Coinbase and BitGo while also bringing a completely different (and refreshing?) air to the space.
Ultimately, Nasdaq’s goal is to offer additional solutions such as execution and liquidity services, and possibly even a crypto exchange.
“We believe this next wave of revolution will be fueled by mass institutional adoption. I can’t think of a better place to bring that confidence and brand to market than Nasdaq.”
-Ira Auerbach (Head of the new Digital Assets Division)
Wall Street incumbents are no longer “wading” into crypto – they have taken the downturn as an opportunity to jump in.
2. Nomura launches crypto VC unit
On the other side of the world, another major player in the global financial industry is also taking steps to cement its place in the crypto sphere.
Back in May, Nomura — one of Japan’s largest investment banks with $450 billion in assets under management — announced the launch of a crypto company.
This week, the financial giant announced the formation of a new digital assets company that will act as a mainstay in this space
“Staying at the forefront of digital innovation is Nomura’s top priority.”
– CEO Kentaro Okuda
The top = crypto.
Laser Digital’s first task is to launch Nomura’s first VC entity, called Laser Venture Capital.
The VC firm will seek to invest in the digital ecosystem, with a focus on DeFi, CeFi, Web3 and blockchain infrastructure startups.
As said, jump in.
3. VC firms want equity, not tokens
The landscape that Laser Venture Capital is entering has changed.
For crypto VC, the new preferred way to invest in startups is no longer through pure token sales and SAFTs (Simple Agreements for Future Tokens).
With uncertainty surrounding US “regulation” mounting and even greater confusion over what is and isn’t a security, investors have shied away from putting tokens at the heart of deals.
Instead, the trend has shifted to hybrid deals for crypto VC firms that combine traditional equity holdings with thrown-in tokens (on a nominal basis with no value attribution) as a sweetener of sorts.
Another reason for the switch? Control. Tokens allow for some governance, but they have their limitations.
Equity, on the other hand, offers far more rights, meaning this new formula for crypto VC deals is likely to stay.