The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name. Credmark, which made its Finovate debut as Graychain at FinovateAsia earlier this year, is reintroducing itself with a new Southeast Asia headquarters and partners who are helping develop the cryptocurrency lending market.
“We’ve been wanting to rebrand for awhile,” Credmark CEO Paul Murphy said. “When we decided to move the company from Hong Kong to Singapore, we realized it was the right time to rebrand.”
Murphy believes the rebrand will make it easier for people to understand what the company is about – especially in a field like cryptocurrencies, which can be intimidatingly complex to both businesses and consumers. “We are the only company giving credit ratings to blockchain addresses, not individuals or corporations,” Murphy explained. “This allows us to address a much wider range of use-cases including anonymous and pseudonymous borrowing, and smart contract credit, as well as more traditional uses of credit.”
Murphy agrees with those who see cryptocurrencies as the foundation of a new financial system. Like any other financial system, he said, cryptocurrencies will need credit (what he called “a proxy for trust”) in order to function efficiently. And in order to extend credit, you need data. And that’s where Credmark comes in.
“Credmark is developing a product to remove friction in the crypto space caused by lack of trust,” Murphy said. “This product will help minimize systemic credit risk whilst simultaneously speeding up business transactions.”
One example he shared was his company’s collaboration with a firm that is tokenizing sneakers in order to use them as collateral for crypto loans. “Crypto finance is proving endlessly creative. Building on top of centuries of technology in a global, decentralized environment is a rare opportunity. This work will have a profound impact on everyone, from the world’s richest to its poorest,” Murphy said.
In addition to Murphy’s 12 years of building software for financial firms on Wall Street, Credmark benefits from the talents of co-founder Neil Zumwalde, the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Zumwalde is a veteran software developer and engineer whose experience includes building complex distributed systems in the IOT/energy space.
About the company’s technology, Murphy said Credmark is a big user of blockchain technology (“we currently work with nine different chains!”), Credmark also leverages AI to build its cutting-edge prediction models. The company currently offers three products – Credmark Wealth, Credmark Clear, and Credmark Clear for Business – which help crypto businesses, lenders, and investors evaluate the value of digital asset holdings on a company’s or address’ overall net worth and creditworthiness.
Credmark’s decision to relocate from Hong Kong – where the company has been headquartered since its founding in 2018 – to Singapore is also a key part of the company’s evolution. In addition to putting some distance between itself and Hong Kong’s civil unrest of recent months, the move will enable Credmark to remain in a major fintech hub while building its position in the rapidly growing Southeast Asia cryptocurrency industry.
“Singapore is a fantastic jurisdiction in which to do business,” Murphy said. “Rules are very clear, bureaucrats are efficient, and legal and financial services are of very high quality. I personally ran several businesses in the U.K., so Singapore’s legal system is very familiar.”
The rebrand also comes as the company issues its second Crypto Credit Industry report (CCR). Credmark’s CCRs are a compilation of industry data with analysis and commentary to help readers learn about the crypto credit industry, the vendors that participate in it, and the different products they offer. The company’s first report was released in late August, and covers industry developments through Q2 2019.
“Our latest industry report reveals growth of 23% in the third quarter,” Murphy said of the Q3 report. “And institutional lending products are starting to mature.” He added that one way the CCR will benefit readers will be in bringing greater clarity and transparency to the world of crypto financing.
“The industry uses some vanity metrics that are confusing and sometimes misleading,” Murphy explained. “We’re calling those out and planning to de-emphasize them.”
Asked where he thinks Credmark will be a year or two from now, Murphy responds, “If we’d been asked that question two years ago our predictions would have been completely wrong. The industry is moving fast. We are careful to take this rapid, uncertain evolution into account as we design our products. We have taken a big bet on crypto, but have remained blockchain-independent.”
“No matter how things evolve, we expect to play a central role in this emerging financial system,” he said.