Nomura’s Laser Digital invests in DeFi protocol Infinity

  • Laser Digital’s investment follows Infinity’s seed funding raised in September, backed by top VCs in the space.
  • Infinity is an Ethereum-based protocol designed to advance institutional DeFi or what’s called “Hybrid Finance”
  • Price discovery and risk innovation are critical to institutional adoption of DeFi.

Laser Digital, the crypto subsidiary of Japanese banking giant Nomura, has announced a strategic investment in decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol Infinity.

Infinity is an institutional-focused lending and borrowing platform founded by Kevin Lepsoe, a former head of structuring at Morgan Stanley. 

While the companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, Laser Digital’s investment follows Infinity’s $4.2 million seed round in September 2022. Major crypto market makers and venture capital investors that backed the round included Susquehanna International Group, Block0, GSR, OWC, Flow Traders,  and CSquared. 

Infinity looks to accelerate “Institutional DeFi”

Per details in a press release, Infinity will use the investment to accelerate the development of critical infrastructure targeted for “Institutional DeFi.” This is also known as hybrid finance.

Hybrid finance brings the benefit of blockchain technology to the space with an interoperable protocol for benchmark rates, credit and counterparty management. 

Olivier Dang, the Head of Ventures at Laser Digital, said the protocol is paving the way for institutional flows to come on-chain.

Infinity is building critical infrastructure for DeFi, and its protocol enabling price discovery and management of risk within DeFi is transformative for institutions,” Dang noted. According to him, Infinity’s groundwork is key to the institutional-grade lending new levels of benchmark rates and risk management or innovation.

With a $300 trillion market of credit securities across loans, derivatives, and equity available, Ethereum-powered Infinity’s upcoming launch is bound to enable broader participation of institutional players in DeFi.  

Infinity founder Kevin Lepsoe commented:

Laser Digital Ventures is an active investor in hybrid finance and a superb partner as we look to advance a rates protocol that meets the needs of the global investor community.”

Lepsoe pointed to investment being critical given the expectation of increased institutional flows to DeFi by 2025, particularly boosted by the new BIS guidelines. Hybrid finance is also set to be huge as crypto centralised finance (CeFi) dwindles, he added.

According to the protocol, part of the “wave of tokenization” and adoption will be down to blockchain efficiency, on-chain security and TradFi – DeFi fungibility.

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