Investment Bank Cowen Opens a Digital Unit, Plans to Offer DeFi, NFTs, and Derivatives

Cowen Inc, a full-service investment bank in the United States, has announced the launch of its dedicated digital division, making it one of the new financial firms on Wall Street to join the fast-expanding crypto space

Using the new unit, which is named Cowen Digital, the bank is aiming to help institutional investors easily trade established crypto assets, such as Solana and Bitcoin. In addition, the unit will provide a custody solution for storing digital assets using Standards Custody & Trust Co

According to Jeffrey Solomon, Cowen Bank’s CEO and Chair, Cowen Digital will provide access to the digital asset market for better quality and end-to-end execution. Solomon added that Cowen is working towards outperforming in the crypto space to ensure that its clients stay ahead of innovation. 

According to a statement from the bank, the Cowen Digital division took 15 months to develop.

Cowen Working on Other Crypto Services 

Cowen Digital will be led by Dan Forman, the bank’s former head of derivatives. It also targets to increase the staff for the division from 40 to more than 100 as it grows to other areas, such as crypto lending, derivatives, DeFi, and the highly demanded non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The announcement by Cowen comes only a short moment after JPMorgan Chase & Co. made a huge leap by launching into the metaverse by opening a lounge in Decentraland (a blockchain-based virtual world). In this lounge, clients are able to buy properties using NFTs or other supported crypto assets.

Another bank, the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc, intensified its forays into the crypto space by unveiling over-the-counter options trade. This service will be facilitated via Galaxy Digital, a digital asset investment firm. 

We must indicate that the current lack of regulations on crypto assets has led to reduced uptake by many banks operating on Wall Street. However, we might get a new framework following the recent executive order by President Joe Biden on the assessment of the risks and benefits of the new burgeoning industry. 

Cowen believes that its small size will offer the needed flexibility to adapt quicker than the bigger brands in the rapidly changing operating environment. While talking to Bloomberg, Dan Charney, Cowen’s president, indicated that the bank has a big first-mover benefit in the crypto space.

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