Assets Under Management AUM

I am a big believer in Polkadot – James Wo, CEO of Digital Finance Group – Nairametrics

“I’m really big on Polkadot,” James Wo told Nairametrics in a Zoom interview; where LedgerX board member and CEO of Digital Finance Group (DFG), a global blockchain and digital asset investment firm, discussed FTX’s acquisition of LedgerX.

As previously reported by Nairametrics, FTX has acquired LedgerX, a cryptocurrency derivatives platform regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Swap Execution Facility (SEF) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO).

The acquisition

At almost 4 years old, LedgerX is a fairly successful company that had cleared over 10 million options and swap contracts. Asked about the main catalyst for its acquisition by FTX, James Wo said it was a win-win situation for both companies.

“FTX has considerable experience operating a successful futures trading platform and they seem to want to become legitimate in the United States. There are only 5 licenses issued by the CFTC and this is something FTX will be happy to get because it is good for them.

“For LedgerX, this creates the opportunity to become a leading derivative platform in the United States; which is a very good result for the company ”, said Jacques.

“For us (newbie investors), we have been early supporters since 2017 and we are happy to see the deal come to fruition. It benefits LedgerX, it benefits FTX, and we also get some ROI ”, he further declared.

Returning to James on his comments on getting ROIs, Nairametrics asked how much FTX had acquired LedgerX.

“It was a big deal” James responded, explaining that the terms of the deal included a confidentiality clause prohibiting disclosure of acquisition figures.

Following the announcement of its acquisition by FTX, LedgerX issued a post stating that the acquisition will not have a significant impact on LedgerX’s operations as the platform will continue to provide its current services to its existing customer base. Nairameterics asked James if there had been any major changes to the LedgerX board, to which he replied:

“FTX will be a major shareholder on the board of directors because previously LedgerX had 2 seats on the board for Terry and me. We’re still on the board, and we also have other people on the board, like LedgerX CEO Zach; and LedgerX chairman Larry, former CFTC commissioner.

“Lightspeed’s Jeremy Liew used to be on the board, but he’s not. There are other board members like Tom from Miami International Holdings as an independent director.

James concluded by stating that no changes have been made to the management team.

Referring to Coinbase’s announcement to enter the crypto futures market, James was asked what innovations are in place to stay competitive in the market.

“First, we are looking to list more parts. Right now LedgerX and other options platforms only list Bitcoin, so we definitely want to list the new coins. The other is more related to the product. On options trading platforms, we do not currently offer leveraged trading but in the future we are looking to do so ”, James explained.

When asked if LedgerX intends to expand its reach into the African market, James explained that although he has Africa in mind, the company is currently focused on establishing in the Asian market. .

“LedgerX was previously focused on the US market, but now there are plans to definitely expand into the Asian market, in countries like Singapore. For Africa, we need to take it step by step… first we expand outside of the United States a bit, and then we will look at other jurisdictions. Expansion in Africa is definitely part of LedgerX’s long term plans ”, he said.

Cryptocurrency regulations

James shared his views on the current regulatory climate for cryptocurrencies and explained that protocols like staking and DeFi will be difficult for regulators to oversee.

“When cryptocurrencies get bigger, regulations will definitely come. In 2017, cryptocurrencies were far too small for regulators to consider, but now that the market cap is over $ 2 trillion, although still relatively small compared to much larger assets, it is large enough to attract the attention of regulators.

“I think the United States is pretty positive even though you would see the latest news from Coinbase and the SEC and all that stuff, but there is a need for the government to come and take a look at the whole industry and determine the best way. really regulate the market.

“It can be very complicated because we have CeFi services which are relatively clear because you have custody of other people’s assets and you adapt to the current financial system, you have other assets that have similar regulations like LedgerX regulated. by the CFTC.

“But when you refer to protocols or DeFi, it’s very difficult to define. Bitcoin is easy because it is definitely a commodity, but if you have things like staking and other protocols like that, it takes time for regulators to get a clear definition, ” James said, adding that once regulators have looked at the details, it is only a matter of time until they find a way to regulate the business.

The Digital Finance Group (DFG)

In addition to being a board member of LedgerX, James Wo is also the CEO of DFG, a global blockchain and digital assets investment firm with over $ 1 billion in assets under management ( AT M). Asked what prompted him to create DFG, he said: “In 2013 I started trading crypto and then it was just Bitcoin and Litecoin. I started researching cryptocurrencies and found it interesting and saw it as a way to solve the problems of traditional financial systems or at least part of the problems.

“After that, I realized this was something I wanted to fully commit to. So in 2015 I started DFG. I have a financial background and it made more sense for me to set up an investment company to help entrepreneurs in this industry mature. In 2017 we started to change a bit as ICOs became popular and the idea of ​​tokens was still relatively new. The industry started to mature as cryptocurrencies became something more than just cross-border payments and we started to see a lot of new use cases and infrastructure coming out. It made us shift our focus a bit. We continue to invest in CeFi activities, but we devote more time and capital to the symbolic side. We are therefore investing in protocols like NEAR and Polkadot. Polkadot is one of the most important investments of the firm and we are quite diversified on different types of ecosystems ”, he said.

Best crypto picks

To wrap up the conversation, James was asked about his top 5 cryptocurrencies and he said he was bullish on Polkadot. He told Nairametrics:

“I’m not sure you know about this, but I am a very big supporter of Polkadot. One of the reasons I hold so many tokens is because I’m a big fan at an early stage and hold the tokens so far because I never sell and I’m pretty optimistic about it. Of course, there are other Layer 1 solutions like Solana, Terra, NEAR, and Avalanche that have gotten good these days, but I think Polkadot is the one that has a lot of potential to grow in the future.

“In the ecosystem, we have a lot of top products. Speaking of other Layer 1 protocols, Kusama is definitely one as I think it will be more independent in the future with different kinds of features, despite being part of the Polkadot ecosystem. In general, I am so optimistic about the Polkadot ecosystem protocols. “

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