Superstate Gains $14m in Series A Led by Distributed Global and CoinFund

Superstate, an innovative asset management firm, announced today the successful closure of its Series A financing round, raising $14 million. This funding will catalyze the firm’s mission to offer cutting-edge investment solutions to institutional investors, while paving the way for democratizing investment opportunities through advanced blockchain tokenization.

The Series A round, a noteworthy achievement following their $4 million Seed financing in June 2023, was co-led by Distributed Global and CoinFund. It witnessed substantial participation from industry giants like Breyer Capital, Galaxy, Arrington Capital, Road Capital, CMT Digital, Folius Ventures, Nascent, Hack VC, Modular Capital, and Department of XYZ, underscoring the broad interest in Superstate’s vision.

Robert Leshner, Co-founder and CEO of Superstate, highlighted the firm’s dedication to reshaping the investment landscape. “The future of investments are programmable, compliant, and transparent,” he said. Superstate aims to transcend the limitations of first-generation tokenized funds, which were constrained to private blockchains or offshore entities, thus barring U.S. investors.

The newly raised capital is earmarked for expanding Superstate’s team, launching private funds aimed at institutional investors, and forging a path for tokenized, publicly registered investment funds. This strategic allocation of resources is aimed at cementing Superstate’s position as a leader in the digital asset management space.

Superstate is championing the creation of regulated, self-custodied on-chain funds that promise exposure to traditional assets through innovative on-chain investment products. These funds are set to capitalize on the speed, programmability, and compliance benefits of blockchain tokenization. Key advantages of these on-chain funds include investor-directed ownership, facilitating rapid and unrestricted control over assets; next-generation utility, allowing for programmable and compatible assets with on-chain contracts and applications; and transparent, embedded compliance, ensuring real-time regulatory adherence.

In June 2023, Superstate took a significant step by filing a draft prospectus with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission for the Superstate Short-Term Government Bond Fund. This initiative, an open-ended mutual fund, plans to incorporate a secondary record of ownership on the Ethereum blockchain, illustrating Superstate’s commitment to integrating traditional finance with innovative blockchain technology.

Jake Brukhman, Founder & CEO of CoinFund, expressed his enthusiasm for Superstate’s novel approach. “Superstate’s approach to tokenization will bridge the gap between high-quality compliant financial products and the massive advantages and innovation DeFi is poised to offer to traditional finance,” he remarked.

Superstate’s pioneering efforts in modernizing the infrastructure of investment funds underscore the firm’s commitment to offering investment products that leverage the advantages of blockchain tokenization, such as speed, programmability, and compliance. For more information about their offerings for institutional investors, visit

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Nomura’s Laser Digital Launches Ethereum Adoption Fund for Institutional Investors

Laser Digital, a subsidiary of financial services giant Nomura, has launched an Ethereum Adoption Fund aimed at institutional investors, as announced on 9th November 2023. This fund, centered in London and Dubai, is a strategic move to bolster the presence of Ethereum in the investment portfolios of institutions, enhancing the digital asset’s footprint in the global financial market.

Laser Digital has been actively supporting cryptocurrency and digital asset initiatives. In 2023, the company introduced its first cryptocurrency fund, the Bitcoin Adoption Fund, offering institutional investors long-only exposure to Bitcoin. The company’s asset management unit was formed in February 2023, with team members in London, Zurich, and Dubai. In July 2023, the company received full crypto licensing from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority. Laser Digital’s entry into fund management focused on digital assets was initiated in 2020 with the crypto custodian Komainu.

This Ethereum-focused fund is the latest in a sequence of digital asset solutions initiated by Laser Digital Asset Management. The series began with the introduction of the Bitcoin Adoption Fund in September. This new fund, titled ‘Laser Digital Ethereum Adoption Fund SP’, is set up as a segregated portfolio under Laser Digital Funds SPC, registered in the Cayman Islands, signaling a structured approach to digital asset investment.

The fund’s assets are secured and regulated through Komainu, a custodian regulated by both the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority. This highlights the fund’s commitment to ensuring compliance with financial regulatory standards and asset security.

Under the leadership of Sebastian Guglietta, former Chief Scientist Officer at Nomura, and Fiona King, previously of Nickel Digital Asset Management, the fund aims to leverage Ethereum’s potential in driving the economy’s shift from analogue to digital. Guglietta and King bring extensive experience in investment strategies and institutional business to Laser Digital.

With this launch, Laser Digital accentuates its belief in Ethereum as a pivotal technology in the ongoing digital transformation of the economy. The fund is designed not only to invest in Ethereum but also to implement a yield enhancement strategy through staking, catering to the evolving needs of institutional investors in the digital age.

Backed by Nomura, Laser Digital has been actively working to create opportunities in the realm of digital assets, combining the rigor of traditional investment banking with the agility of a crypto-native team. Headquartered in Switzerland, the firm is focused on responsible and compliant engagement in the digital asset market.

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SEBA Bank Secures SFC License, Expanding Crypto Services to Hong Kong

Switzerland-based cryptocurrency bank SEBA Bank has marked a significant milestone by obtaining a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The license, granted on November 3rd, represents a crucial step for SEBA in expanding its cryptocurrency services in the Asia Pacific region. SEBA Hong Kong, a subsidiary of SEBA Bank, is now authorized to offer a range of cryptocurrency-related services within the area, as confirmed by the SFC’s official website.

SEBA Bank established its first Hong Kong office in November 2022, underlining its strategy to broaden its service spectrum in Asia. Following an initial permission in principle from the SFC in August 2023 for virtual asset trading services, the recent licensing confirms SEBA’s operational expansion outside its home country, including a presence in Abu Dhabi.

With this new license, SEBA can engage in the trading and distribution of all securities, encompassing digital asset-related products like over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Moreover, the license allows SEBA to provide advisory services on securities and digital assets and manage assets for discretionary accounts, which include both traditional and digital assets.

SEBA’s services, facilitated by this license, will cater to institutional and professional investors such as corporate treasuries, funds, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals. Franz Bergmueller, the Chief Executive Officer of SEBA, expressed enthusiasm in an official statement, highlighting Hong Kong’s pivotal role in the cryptocurrency economy since Bitcoin’s inception and the bank’s eagerness to contribute to Hong Kong’s digital asset market.

Hong Kong’s rigorous licensing system permits only a select few platforms to cater to both local and foreign clients, including retail customers. Upon the government’s announcement to license crypto-related businesses, approximately one hundred firms showed interest in establishing Hong Kong branches. However, only a handful have successfully navigated the regulatory landscape to obtain clearance.

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Alpaca Debuts Private Equity Real Estate

According to a press release on September 29, 2023, the alternative investments management company Alpaca of New York presented its Alpaca Real Estate (ARE) private equity real estate platform to the public for the first time. The platform’s first foray into the real estate market was co-founded by industry veterans Daniel Carr (ex-Ares Management) and Peter Weiss (ex-Prospect Ridge), and it receives significant backing from funds provided by GCM Grosvenor, the global alternative investments leader.

Through its venture capital and real estate investments, Alpaca has been at the forefront of the movement to combine the digital and physical realms ever since the company’s founding in 2012. On the other hand, GCM Grosvenor has been a leader in the field of global alternative asset management for more than half a century and is currently responsible for the management of approximately $76 billion worth of assets.

Carr and Weiss are in charge of directing the initiative, and substantial anchor capital is being provided by GCM Grosvenor. This demonstrates a solid financial foundation as the company moves into the real estate industry. The two have over ten years of experience between them in real estate investment, which was further honed during their time spent working for other reputable companies before they co-founded ARE.

The objective of ARE is to capitalize on the dislocations that are currently present in the market by placing an emphasis on investments that require recapitalization, repositioning, strategic capital, or physical transformation. This will create a compelling value proposition for institutional investors, which is especially important during periods when asset values are being reset. The platform intends to combine strong returns on real estate investments with enhancements driven by operations and technology.

The application of accretive technology throughout ARE’s real estate holdings in order to improve operational efficiencies and cultivate incremental alpha is a noteworthy component of the company’s overall strategy. This tech-centric approach is envisioned as being able to bridge the gap that currently exists between real estate entities and PropTech companies, thereby driving technology adoption from the ground up.

ARE is well-positioned to carve out a niche at the convergence of real estate and technology investment thanks to Alpaca’s legacy of investing across PropTech, sustainability, and climate-centric firms for more than a decade, as well as Carr’s and Weiss’ collective real estate investing expertise, which exceeds $10 billion in total transaction capitalization.

The venture also marks the continuation of a synergistic relationship with GCM Grosvenor. The Managing Director of GCM Grosvenor, Peter Braffman, expressed optimism about building a tech-augmented traditional real estate platform alongside Alpaca. This venture marks the continuation of this relationship.

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Binance Survey: Institutional Investors Bullish on Crypto’s Long-Term Prospects

Binance Research, in collaboration with Binance VIP & Institutional, has recently unveiled the results of their Institutional Crypto Outlook Survey. The study reveals a strong positive sentiment towards cryptocurrencies among institutional investors, with 63.5% expressing optimism for the next year and a striking 88% displaying a positive outlook for the next decade.

The survey, which ran from March 31 to May 15, 2023, gathered responses from 208 Binance VIP and Institutional users. It aimed to explore the demographics, attitudes, preferences, and motivations of these investors towards cryptocurrency investments.

Key findings from the survey indicate that despite market fluctuations over the past year, 47.1% of investors have maintained their crypto allocation, while 35.6% have increased their allocation. Only a minority, 17.3%, have decreased their crypto allocation. Looking forward, the majority of respondents expect to either increase (50.0%) or maintain (45.7%) their allocation over the next 12 months.

The study also highlights that institutional investors believe that the adoption of cryptocurrencies will be driven more by real-world use cases (26.9%) and improvements in regulatory clarity (25.3%) rather than higher prices (3.4%). This suggests that institutional participation in the crypto market is taking on a longer-time horizon, less reactive to short-term market cycles.

Interestingly, the survey reveals a more positive perception of Bitcoin compared to the broader crypto sector. While perceptions of Bitcoin and crypto remained largely unchanged over the past year (47.8% and 44.7% respectively), a larger proportion of respondents have turned more positive on Bitcoin (47.3% vs. 33.2%).

When it comes to investment motivation, 42.8% of investors cited the potential for large investment returns as the most compelling reason for investing in cryptocurrencies. This was followed by 37.5% of investors who see gaining long-term exposure to an emerging technology as the primary motivation.

Centralized Exchanges remain the most popular platform for institutional trading (90.5%) and custody activities (58.2%). The top three criteria for selecting a trading platform were liquidity (28.0%), security (26.0%), and reputation (22.5%).

Catherine Chen, Head of Binance VIP and Institutional, commented on the findings, “Institutions typically take a long-term horizon when they enter a new market, and our survey indicates that is likewise for crypto assets. These findings match the healthy rate of institutional account growth on Binance, which has increased 89% since the height of the bull market in Q4 2021.”

The results of this survey underscore the growing institutional interest and confidence in the long-term potential of cryptocurrencies. 


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InfStones aims to simplify ETH staking through Shappella upgrade

InfStones, a blockchain infrastructure provider, has announced a new Ethereum validator service that aims to simplify ETH staking through the upcoming Shappella upgrade. The service will utilize Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to make staking easier for both users and institutional investors, with the goal of attracting more participants to the Ethereum ecosystem.

The Shappella upgrade, which is expected to bring heightened market demand for ETH staking, will allow participants with less than 32 ETH to stake their tokens on InfStones’ platform. This is a significant development, as currently, there is a requirement of 32 ETH to participate in staking.

InfStones founder Zhenwu Shi stated that their Ethereum validator service enables anyone to launch validator nodes for staking purposes with just a few clicks. In addition, the platform is targeting institutional investors by providing a way to set up around 1,000 validators for ETH staking.

The project’s goal is to attract more participants to the Ethereum ecosystem by creating an easier staking experience. InfStones’ platform aims to capitalize on the Shappella upgrade by offering a more streamlined staking service. Liquid staking platforms may also get a boost when ETH is released from the Beacon Chain following the upgrade, according to analysts from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode.

However, Ethereum staking deposits have seen a slight decline recently, which has been attributed to both regulatory pressure in the United States and the upcoming Shappella upgrade. Despite this, community members have expressed various sentiments on the news, with many praising the developers for achieving the next milestone for the Ethereum ecosystem.

As the Ethereum ecosystem continues to grow, InfStones’ new validator service aims to make staking more accessible for both individual users and institutional investors. By providing an easier staking experience, the platform hopes to attract more participants and contribute to the growth of the Ethereum network.


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Nasdaq to Launch Digital Asset Custody Services

The global securities marketplace known as Nasdaq is planning to join the cryptocurrency business by the end of the second quarter of 2022 when it will provide its custody services for digital assets. Ira Auerbach, Senior Vice President of the exchange operator, is in charge of the digital assets division, which has submitted an application to the New York Department of Financial Services for a limited-purpose trust company charter. This charter would allow the department to monitor the new business.

The initiative, which was unveiled for the first time in September, will begin with the storage of Bitcoin and Ether, with the intention of ultimately offering a whole suite of services for the division, including the execution of transactions for financial institutions. Before the launch, Auerbach stressed the group’s commitment to ensuring that all of the essential governmental permissions and technological infrastructure are in place.

It is possible that Nasdaq’s introduction into the cryptocurrency market will be a big step forward for the industry. This comes at a time when conventional financial institutions are increasingly filling the void left by industry bankruptcies. The reputation of the exchange and its presence in the worldwide market might help enhance institutional investor trust in the cryptocurrency market, which would pave the road for more conventional financial institutions to follow suit in the future.

The decision by Nasdaq is similar to those taken by other prominent financial institutions, such as BNY Mellon and Fidelity, who provide services related to the storage of cryptocurrencies. These offers are a reflection of the increased demand from institutional investors for exposure to digital assets. Digital assets are considered by some as an alternative asset class that may bring advantages of diversification when included in a portfolio.

Traditional financial institutions have been hesitant to provide these types of services despite the rising interest in digital assets; this reluctance may be attributed to worries over the regulatory clarity and security risks connected with digital assets. But, with Nasdaq’s introduction into the market, it is feasible that more institutions may follow suit, as they attempt to profit on the potential development prospects that exist within the cryptocurrency business.


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Institutional Investors Seek Tokenization Solutions

Institutional investors managing trillions of dollars worldwide are seeking solutions for tokenization, which can allow fractional ownership of an asset that previously had to be sold as a whole. This method can improve liquidity for global assets, which is expected to reach $145.4 trillion by 2025, according to Big Four firm PwC. Polygon, a blockchain scaling and infrastructure development platform, has been working with many global players in this space, including Hamilton Lane and JPMorgan.

In January, Hamilton Lane announced the first of three tokenized funds backed by Polygon, bringing part of its $824 billion in assets under management on-chain. By tokenizing its flagship Equity Opportunities Fund, Hamilton Lane was able to lower the minimum required investment from an average of $5 million to $20,000. This move enables greater accessibility for smaller investors and creates a more liquid market for the asset.

JPMorgan also explored the potential of decentralized finance (DeFi) for wholesale funding markets by executing its first cross-border DeFi transaction on the Polygon network in November. This initiative is part of a pilot program that aims to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology to improve traditional financial markets.

Polygon offers a blockchain scaling solution that enables developers to build and connect decentralized applications. The platform has been working on providing institutional-grade infrastructure for tokenization, which is crucial for institutional investors who require reliable and secure systems. Colin Butler, the global head of institutional capital at Polygon, acknowledges the need for institutional-grade systems and solutions that are easy to implement, flexible, and upgradeable, which are essential for institutional investors to integrate tokenization into their existing systems.

Overall, tokenization presents a significant opportunity for institutional investors to improve liquidity and accessibility to a wider range of investors, and platforms like Polygon are working to provide the necessary infrastructure to support the growth of this market.


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Fidelity Launches a New Commission-Free Crypto Trading Product

Fidelity Investments, one of the largest asset management firms in the world has launched a crypto trading service, giving its customers the ability to embrace Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) directly.


As reported by CNBC, the new service is dubbed Fidelity Crypto and will be powered by Fidelity Digital Assets, a more developed offshoot the company launched to handle its investments in the nascent crypto ecosystem.


Embracing Bitcoin and Ethereum through Fidelity has been made relatively hassle-free as no commission is charged. While most institutional investment firms typically require only their most wealthy clients to invest in cryptocurrencies, Fidelity has set a threshold of a minimum of $1 in order to be able to maintain the account.


The company said it will be adopting the revenue generation model of Robinhood and Binance.US and it will be adding a 1% spread into every trade execution price.


“Where our customers invest matters more than ever,” Fidelity said in a statement shared with CNBC. “A meaningful portion of Fidelity customers are already interested in and own crypto. We are providing them with tools to support their choice, so they can benefit from Fidelity’s education, research, and technology.”


Fidelity has over $9.9 trillion in assets under management, and it has been exploring renewed strategies and models to dominate the crypto ecosystem. Just like BlackRock, Fidelity has launched a good number of crypto products over the years and as well, partnered with so many other crypto firms.


That big money firms are getting into the crypto bandwagon spells a lot of good omen for how far the industry has come over the past decade. With outfits like Fidelity and BlackRock now leaning to offer services that are predominantly reserved for crypto exchanges, the competition is growing and geared to benefit consumers in the Web3.0 ecosystem much more.

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Hong Kong is a Step Closer to Legalizing Retail Crypto Trading – Report

Hong Kong is truly making moves that can help define it as a thriving hub for all crypto-related activities within the region.


According to a report from Bloomberg citing unnamed sources, the City’s top financial regulator, the Securities and Financial Commission (SFC) is set to permit to relisting of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in exchanges that permit retail traders.


The news that the Hong Kong SFC is considering a divergent crypto regulatory framework was first unveiled by Elizabeth Wong, Head of Fintech at the SFC as reported by Blockchain.News earlier this week. According to Wong, new allowances will be made for retail crypto traders, marking a move away from the earlier stance instituted in 2018 that sees only institutional traders with $1 million in capital trade the nascent asset class.


The timeline for announcing the new regulatory frameworks is yet unknown, however, speculations abound that the SFC will make its plans known at a fintech conference that is billed to start on Monday. Hong Kong has lost its luster as the preferred destination for most mainstream crypto companies and veterans.


With the new move, the city is looking to backtrack on its stance, thus creating an environment whereby it can compete with other countries including Singapore. With the speculation about the new crypto regime growing stronger, sentiments from stakeholders is still largely skeptical as many believe China’s influence might still be a drawback for the firm.


“The kind of conversations I’ve had was that people still fear there’ll be a very strict licensing regime,” said Leonhard Weese, co-founder of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong. “Even if they’re able to deal directly with retail users, they’re still not going to be as attractive or as competitive as overseas platforms.”


The crypto ecosystem is gaining massive traction with the UK Government making impressive strides to regulate the industry. The SFC as well as other promising nations are not slacking on this trend and are ready to do all they can to provide an enabling environment for all actors.

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