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Nomura Research launches cryptocurrency index

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Today Nomura Research Institute (NRI) announced a new cryptocurrency index bearing its name, the NRI/IU Crypto-Asset Index Family. It has partnered with cryptocurrency company Intelligence Unit to develop the indices and plans to go live on Friday via NRI’s financial information database.

NRI points to rising levels of regulation as a positive for the cryptocurrency sector because it believes this will make it more attractive to investors as an alternative asset class. Given the popularity of index-based ETFs (exchange traded funds), the logical step is to make it easier to invest in the sector by creating appropriate indices.

“The ‘NRI/IU Crypto-Asset Index Family’ can be used by institutional investors as a benchmark for objective investment appraisal,” NRI said in a statement.

The NRI/IU index will be calculated by MV Index Solutions GmbH, part of Van Eck, the ETF and mutual fund manager. Van Eck had plans to offer a U.S. Bitcoin ETF, but it withdrew in September. Many others have also withdrawn proposals in the face of SEC resistance. However, there have been launches in other jurisdictions.

A year ago, there was a report that Japan’s Financial Services Agency was considering approving cryptocurrency ETFs.

Meanwhile, NRI is hardly the first to create an index, but perhaps the first in Japan. Elsewhere, one of the highest profile indices is the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, but there are numerous others.

NRI’s biggest claim to fame with blockchain is its Boostry joint venture with Nomura, which aims to streamline the issuance and distribution of securities. Initially, the focus is on bonds. NRI owns a third of the new venture and Nomura owns 23% of NRI.

At the same time, Boostry has open-sourced the ibet platform, a blockchain solution for tokenization.

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