Cryptocurrency

Komainu (company)

Komainu (publicly launched 2020) is a custodian bank platform built for cryptocurrency. Komainu was developed by Global investment banking Nomura Group, hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, and digital asset manager CoinShares. This platform is the first hybrid custodian that provides traditional services with state-of-the-art technology that meets regulatory and institutional requirements for digital assets. It supports 20 Cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.

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Background

In June 17, 2020, Komainu was officially launched as a joint venture between Tokyo, Japan based financial services company Nomura Holdings, global hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, and Channel Islands based digital asset manager CoinShares. The name originates from the statues of Komainus that can be seen guarding the entrances of Japanese Shinto temples. Jean-Marie Mognetti, who is a Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoinShares, is the company’s CEO. Kenton Farmer, who previously worked at Credit Suisse and Hermes Fund Managers, is the Head of Operations. Andrew Morfill, who comes from serving as Global Head of Cyber Defense at Banco Santander, and developing the Cyber Intelligence division at Vodafone, is the company’s Chief information security officer Officer. Susan Patterson, who formerly worked for Credit Suisse, Brevan Howard, and UBS, is the Head of Regulatory Affairs.

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The company is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Comission as a custodian and depository bank that provides custodial services for various digital assets on a platform that meets the institutional needs and regulations. It is powered by a Ledger bespoke environment. Despite officially launching in June, the product has been in development for two years, and trialed with a few clients for almost half a year. As the relationship between major institutions and crypto tightens, the firm hopes to issue and tokenize traditional assets, including stocks and bonds digitally by using blockchain technology.

Services

Komainu aims to cater to the needs of financial institutions who are especially interested in crypto. It provides clients with an application based, optimized solution that will support various types of assets, regulatory compliance, and insurance, all while simultaneously maintaining tight security protocols. The service supports 20 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. The company is able to integrate within the already existing systems of financial institutions. Additionally, it will only be accepting clients and tokens that have passed anti-money laundering and provenance checks.

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The firm’s CEO claims that the service offers the same level of security that is offered through cold storage, where private keys are kept offline on a device that is not connected to the internet, or on a piece of paper that is locked safe, all while allowing the speed and user flexibility of hot wallets, which are to constantly connected to the internet. The way this was achieved was by the use of a “bespoke Ledger-designed solution,” which combines hardware and software applications, and is underpinned by a hardware security module (HSM).