The Prolonged Crypto Winter Is Healthy – trueDigital CEO Thomas Kim

Blockchain, Interviews, News | April 2, 2019 By:

Thomas Kim is CEO of trueDigital, a global provider of institutional-grade financial infrastructure and products.

Headquartered in New York, trueDigital is building the next generation digital asset ecosystem that reduces risk and provides capital optimization. This full-service ecosystem is comprised of a regulated digital asset marketplace, low-risk settlement and real time payments platform.

Kim, former COO of the Investment Engine group at Bridgewater, will be spearheading trueDigital’s ambitious plans to launch CFTC-approved bitcoin swaps, and expand partnerships with banks and custody firms.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: How is blockchain changing the digital finance sector?

THOMAS KIM: Blockchain technology is changing the digital finance sector in a number of ways that is less conceptual in nature. We are seeing a fundamental shift in the how financial firms do business themselves and with counterparties based on the number of benefits that blockchain’s core offers – reduce risk, increase transparency and give regulators some of the comfort that they have been seeking in markets that are shifting to be significantly more global and with higher availability. We at trueDigital are excited to contribute to this shift through our work broadly around digital payments and markets and will continue to collaborate with firms in making use of this technology in a way that is best for their use cases.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: How did the Signet Platform idea come about? What are the benefits of the platform?

THOMAS KIM: The Signet platform, based on trueDigital’s asset tokenization and settlement technology came about from the realization that many firms in the digital asset space have a difficult and costly time entering the market in fiat currencies. We took a look at the market and realized that the problem was not simply limited to the digital asset marketplace but markets in general. Legacy technology in the FX and asset transfer space is cumbersome, antiquated and can lead to settlement issues and significantly increased risk and cost. We looked at these inefficiencies and realized that we could solve them while simultaneously increasing transparency, reliability and auditability. At its core the benefits of the platform allow firms to transact 24x7x365 with the confidence they need to treat receipts as good funds with settlement finality. As we expand into other assets and support all currency our goal is to continue to reduce cost, reduce risk and increase operational efficiencies.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Truedigital is planning to launch an OTC reference rate index and CFTC-approved bitcoin swaps. How much interest do you expect these products to garner?

THOMAS KIM: Our OTC reference rates have a good amount of interest for use as a NAV as well as for fixing derivatives, we’re keen to continue to push this product and get it in the hands of closed end funds as well as finding partners in the ETF space who need a well designed, regulator vetted reference rate for basing a exchange traded product off of. Our CFTC-approved bitcoin swaps are a critical product for the marketplace. Derivatives in any market have significant use cases, from hedging to driving liquidity. We believe that our contract is differentiated by being the only deliverable contracts that are margin-able and have significant use cases for anyone holding the underlying digital asset. The OTC derivative market is in a growth stage and we are excited to contribute to it.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: The crypto market is currently experiencing the longest bear market in its 10-year history. What’s trueDigital’s strategy to remain profitable?

THOMAS KIM: trueDigital operates as a diversified financial technology company with business in and out of crypto. We truly support the digital asset space but also are keen to bring the efficiencies garnered by digital assets to the traditional space as seen with the first deployment of our asset tokenization technology at Signature bank. That said, we believe one of the reasons that the crypto bear market hit so hard was in part due to a lack of real hedging instruments for many firms. Something we are on track to change by bringing our digital asset derivatives to market.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: When will the crypto bear market end?

THOMAS KIM: Market timing in general is a very difficult thing to do. What we can say is that the digital asset ecosystem broadly is building phenomenal tools to further the space in a number of ways and as those products come to market I think we’ll see a shifting of narrative around the digital asset bear market and see new capital inflows. We believe that this bear market is healthy in such a way that market cycles are beginning to elongate and look a little bit more like a mature asset class.