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Nomura’s Laser Digital unveils institutional digital asset fund for Polygon staking

Nomura Laser Digital Polygon MATIC

Today Nomura’s digital asset arm Laser Digital unveiled plans for the Laser Digital Polygon Adoption Fund (“Fund”). It enables institutional investors to access the staking yields of the native MATIC token of the Polygon proof of stake blockchain. 

Polygon has hosted a fair number of institutional and enterprise issuances. A year ago, Siemens issued its €60 million bond on the Polygon blockchain. Other German institutions using it include  Bankhaus Scheich the major market maker, and Melzer Asset Managers. Both initiatives involved tokenized funds. American asset manager Hamilton Lane also used Polygon when it issued digitally native shares in one of its Luxembourg-based funds. Plus, JP Morgan and others used Polygon as part of Project Guardian, the Singapore initiative that allows traditional financial institutions to experiment with public blockchain.

To launch the fund, Laser Digital collaborated with TruFin and Webn, the web3 incubator founded by Alan Howard, in which Laser is also an investor. TruFin is part of Webn‘s portfolio and the new fund uses TruFin’s TruStake liquid staking solution.

Laser targets institutional investors such as sovereign wealth funds, institutional funds, and private asset managers. While Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs and ETPs provide exposure to cryptocurrencies, staking offers a revenue stream in addition to any crypto price movements. Of course, staking also helps to secure the blockchain network.

Making staking accessible

While the U.S. Bitcoin ETFs, and BlackRock’s $17 billion asset ITBIT in particular, have grabbed attention, there’s also interest in staking funds. For example, the 21Shares Ethereum staking ETP (Swiss) has around $570 million in assets under management (AUM). The SIX Digital Exchange and Boerse Stuttgart also offer institutional solutions for Ethereum staking.

Many institutions might be wary of the technicalities of staking directly. That’s the whole point TruMATIC. TruFin’s TruMATIC token targets MATIC rather than ETH and aims to offer a higher yield than direct staking. It’s a passive option, so one just needs to buy the token, and TruFin deals with the rest. The current market capitalization of TruMATIC is $61 million. TruStake says it achieved a yield of over 5% APY for the past nine months, although the TruMATIC token launched at the end of last year.

The fund will initially launch in the UK, with other jurisdictions planned. Laser launched its first fund in September last year, the Bitcoin Adoption Fund.

“Laser Digital Asset Management aims to transform DeFi investment opportunities into investable TradFi solutions. Leveraging TruFin technology and its integration with Polygon’s AggLayer, we are making Polygon-Matic digital asset investment accessible, in the most secure, and efficient way for institutional investors,” said Sebastien Guglietta, Head of Laser Digital Asset Management.

At a technical level, the fund integrates the Polygon AggLayer, which enables cross chain composability and transactions. It aims to create a web of blockchains that have the feel of a single chain. Additionally, it allows the fund to leverage the security of the Ethereum network.

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