Crypto Startup TrueDigital Hires CEO from World's Largest Hedge Fund

The startup that helped Signature Bank beat JPMorgan to the punch is hiring a former Bridgewater Associates manager as its new CEO.

AccessTimeIconFeb 19, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 12, 2022 at 12:44 p.m. UTC
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

A blockchain upstart is getting a new CEO from the world's largest hedge fund.

New York's trueDigital, which was founded last March, has hired Thomas Kim away from Bridgewater Associates to be its chief executive. Notably, trueDigital is the firm that built a blockchain payments system for Signature Bank. While JPMorgan stole headlines last week for its "JPM Coin," Signature said its similar Signet system is already processing millions of dollars a day.

Kim told CoinDesk his focus will be on expanding the work done for Signature Bank to other clients.

"I personally believe the market is signaling tremendous opportunities to bring traditional and digital markets together, and trueDigital is on the forefront of this trend with its payment platform and crypto derivatives," Kim said. "A lot of the bigger organizations are getting realistic about their capabilities, but the need for these solutions is not going down."

Sunil Hirani, trueDigital's founder and now-former CEO, told CoinDesk that the partnership with Signature Bank has been going well. "We needed to bring in someone like Thomas, with his experience and leadership, so we can take it to the next level," Hirani said.

Kim worked for the Connecticut-based Bridgewater, known for its unique and at-times-troubled company culture, as a manager within the firm's investment engine department for the past seven years. Prior to that he was the CEO of fintech company UNX LLC, which was acquired in 2012, and as a managing director at Lehman Brothers until it collapsed in late 2008.

The trueDigital-built Signet system was launched by Signature Bank last December. It's said to be based on a fork of ethereum and allows clients to send funds, or “Signets,” directly to each other. Notably, the solution was approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and secured coverage from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Bitcoin derivative exchange

Kim will also supervise the upcoming launch of trueDigital's exchange for bitcoin swaps, which is expected later this year. The company is waiting for approvals from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Hirani said. Derivatives based on other cryptocurrencies will be added later on, Kim said.

The company also offers over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin and ether pricing indices.

Despite the prolonged bear market, Kim said he is optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency:

"I see many market movements by the institutions trying to figure out how they can include crypto derivatives in their portfolios. I expect adoption to get broader, and trueDigital actually has products for that."

Handshake image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.