Thomas Kim has left his post as a division leader at the world’s largest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates, to head up trueDigital, a burgeoning fintech firm based in New York.
Kim will lead the firm’s effort to launch Commodity Futures Trading Commission-approved bitcoin swaps, according to the firm’s announcement on Tuesday. He will also expand partnerships with banks and custody firms, the announcement said.
“The decision was easy to make,” Kim said of taking the role at trueDigital. “The timing is pretty good. The opportunity is ripe to join traditional and digital assets together in a safe and coordinated way.”
Formerly the chief operating officer of investment engineering at Bridgewater for seven years, Kim left the firm on February 1, he said. On February 7, he began his new role as chief executive officer at trueDigital.
“What has influenced my work is spending many years in fintech,” Kim said by phone Thursday.
Before working at Bridgewater, Kim held several leadership roles in the fintech sector. He spent the three years immediately preceding his role at Bridgewater as the chief executive officer at UNX, a digital broker-dealer.
He has also worked as a managing director at Lehman Brothers, the chief operating officer at TradingScreen, and the COO at Mandarin Capital Technologies, among other roles.
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Kim said he looks forward to returning to the fintech world, as he sees a lot of opportunity in the industry.
“Specifically, on the payments side, there are tremendous amounts of frictions and inefficiencies that are costly,” Kim said.
At present, trueDigital’s biggest achievement has been launching a blockchain-based payment platform called Signet alongside New York-based Signature Bank, which allows clients to transfer tokenized assets like bitcoin in real time, Kim said.
“On the heels of that, we’re in the process of launching our deliverable forward contracts,” Kim said.
The firm will offer the contracts first in bitcoin, and then in additional currencies once the bitcoin swaps are launched, he added.