Crypto startup trueDigital rechristened; eyeing launch of derivatives exchange and physically-settled bitcoin margin swaps

Quick Take

  • Crypto startup trueDigital has rebranded itself to Tassat
  • It is preparing to launch a derivatives exchange and physically-settled bitcoin margin swaps
  • Tassat CEO, Thomas Kim, told The Block that the launch will take place “very shortly” 

Institutional-focused cryptocurrency startup trueDigital has rebranded itself to Tassat (pronounced TAA-sett), as a “strategic” decision to pivot into the derivatives trading and institutional payments markets. 

With the rebranding, the firm will soon launch a derivatives exchange that trades physically-settled bitcoin margin swaps. The product will be listed on a swap execution facility (SEF), registered by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), according to Tassat CEO Thomas Kim. 

The firm initially announced its plans to offer bitcoin derivatives in July, saying it has reached an “agreement in principle” to acquire designated contract market (DCM) and SEF registrations with the CFTC from a firm called trueEX, which helped kickstart trueDigital. 

"We will be launching our derivatives exchange very shortly, on the heels of some activities around acquiring a DCM that is still currently undergoing CFTC review and approval,” said Kim. 

Last month, in a similar development, crypto exchange Seed CX also announced that its subsidiary, Seed SEF, has started UAT of its physically-settled bitcoin margin swaps, meaning it will allow traders to enter into a leveraged position to buy or sell bitcoin for physical delivery at a later date.

Kim joined trueDigital in February after a seven year stint at the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. He told The Block that he was attracted to trueDigital after chatting with its co-founder Sunil Hirani, a serial entrepreneur and Wall Street hotshot.  At the time, he also revealed that trueDigital was also looking to help banks issue digital tokens to accelerate payments between banks. 


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

In Feburary, trueDigital helped Signature Bank to build a blockchain payments system Signet, which has on-boarded more than 100 clients who are using it to send millions of dollars a day.

Now, Kim told The Block that the firm is providing its technology to more banks to issue digital tokens that enable "instantaneous" payments between corporate clients. "We are creating new rails for banks that allow them to not just do it in the facet but do it literally instantaneously from front end all the way to the back end,” he said, adding:

"We are having conversations with not only banks but also with central banks of countries that are interested in issuing digital currencies."

Kim said that the rebranding aligns with a shift in the payments space that he has observed. According to Kim, the traditional way of processing payments between banks in batches is rendered obsolete in the face of the real-time 24/7 processing capability powered by blockchains. Meanwhile, more banks are willing to embrace this new technology to improve their legacy systems, said Kim. 

“There has been an evolution of what payment actually means, and trueDigital was always trying to create new rails associated with payments through tokenization,” said Kim. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Yogita Khatri is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things crypto. As one of the earliest team members, Yogita has played a pivotal role in breaking numerous stories, exclusives and scoops. With nearly 3,000 articles under her belt, Yogita holds the records as The Block's most-published and most-read author of all time. Prior to joining The Block, Yogita worked at crypto publication CoinDesk and The Economic Times, where she wrote on personal finance. To contact her, email: [email protected]. For her latest work, follow her on X @Yogita_Khatri5.
Celia joined The Block as a reporter after earning her BA in the History of Science from the University of Chicago. Having spent years pondering over why 2+2 cannot equal 5, she is interested in the history and philosophy of mathematics, computation, and cryptography. She also had a very brief stint at Crunchbase News.