The partners of JST have spent more than twenty years working in the traditional financial services sector. They’ve now entered the nascent cryptocurrency markets as early as 2014, when they began to make markets for early blockchain initiatives.
Leveraging that experience, JST was established in 2018 to offer a comprehensive suite of traditional financial services to institutions in the crypto-asset market. JST has put together a team of market professionals to assist with the trading, execution, structuring, investing and risk management needs of institutional investors, blockchain firms, broker-dealers, and foundations.
Our discussion with Freeman is shared below.
Crowdfund Insider: Your company claims it’s at the “intersection” of digital assets and traditional finance. What are the main products and services that you offer?
Scott Freeman: We are a team of finance professionals who bring traditional financial products and services to meet the unique needs of investors, banks, and brokers looking to manage their financial risks and improve the return of their crypto holdings. We pride ourselves on creative problem solving and our ability to leverage our years of experience in traditional finance and cryptocurrency to solve our client’s problems.
Our core business is providing liquidity to our clients and helping them to improve the return on their crypto assets. We develop algorithms that read and interpret market movements to provide our clients with expert insight allowing for high returns on investments. We act as a market maker for our institutional clients, interacting with entities on the buy and sell-side of the marketplace, looking to equip those who are interested in crypto with secure methods of acquiring and trading this asset class.
Crowdfund Insider: Your team has considerable experience working in the traditional financial sector. Tell us how this has helped when entering an emerging sector like blockchain and digital currencies which are fundamentally quite different from the fiat-based financial system.
Scott Freeman: While cryptocurrencies are in their own unique asset class, they do exhibit a lot of characteristics found in other asset classes. We have quants and traders who have traded a variety of liquid and illiquid assets and have experience with volatile markets.
In addition, we understand what is important to traditional investors and can appreciate how crypto may fit within their investment thesis. Our team’s extensive risk management experience allows us to assist our clients in structuring their portfolios to provide them with the hedge they’re looking for while remaining within their predetermined risk tolerance.
Furthermore, we’ve been through multiple booms and busts, including the tech, credit, and mortgage bubbles. We’ve been through crypto bubbles as well, but our experience gives us a long-term perspective. So, while digital currencies do have fundamental differences compared to traditional fiat currencies that make them unique, our decades of traditional financial experience allow us to develop strategies that meet our client’s goals.
Crowdfund Insider: Major Asian banks like DBS are now launching their own cryptocurrency exchanges. PayPal recently announced that it will be allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and other major crypto-assets.
Clearly, these are all major developments. How important do you think large corporations and financial institutions might be to crypto adoption?
Scott Freeman: There’s been a great deal of forward momentum for crypto adoption this year and in many ways, it will be looked upon as a landmark year for the asset class. We’ve seen a number of announcements from major players including DBS, PayPal, JP Morgan, Franklin Templeton, UnionPay, Fidelity, and more in recent weeks leading to a bull run for Bitcoin that brought it back to record highs.
Additionally, we’ve seen investors reward firms that incorporate crypto into their overall business strategies with both Square and MicroStrategy seeing a positive increase in their respective stock prices after announcing their strategy of holding bitcoin on their balance sheets.
These are all important developments for this nascent asset class, and we believe that acceptance on an institutional level in the finance industry will only further promote adoption among other interested parties including retail investors, government organizations, and blue-chip corporates, among others.
Crowdfund Insider: You’ve recently expanded your team in the US and Asia. Given the economic uncertainty due to COVID-19, what made you feel confident that this was the right move at this time?
Scott Freeman: We’ve expanded mostly out of necessity, with more parties looking for trusted advice to help secure their desired exposure to this new asset class. We added sales team members, engineers and quants in order to continue enhancing our trading capabilities and grow our footprint. With numerous industry developments both in Asia and the US, we feel it’s important that we’re ready to serve the growing number of investors looking for exposure to this exciting new asset class.
Crowdfund Insider: Blockstream’s Liquid Network Federation recently added 8 new members which also included your company, JST Capital (along with CoinShares, Condensat banque, INX Limited, Paymium, Petrushev Capital, Sevenlabs Ltd, Satoshi Games Inc.).
Why did you decide to join this group and what are its goals?
Scott Freeman: We are always looking for ways to gain access to new clients and ecosystems. We are big believers in the use of stablecoins and believe that the Liquid Network is well-positioned to take advantage of this growth.