Who’s Who in Crypto: Alessio Quaglini, CEO of Hex Trust
Hex Trust is a leading provider of bank-grade custody and associated services for digital assets in Asia. Its proprietary platform, Hex Safe, delivers custody, DeFi, brokerage, and financing solutions for financial institutions,
digital asset organisations, corporations, and private clients.
Alessio Quaglini has over 15 years of experience in the field of banking, regulatory body and management consulting. Prior to joining Hex Trust, he was the Head of Strategy Asia for BBVA, overseeing the overall business development and geographical footprint in Asia.
Alessio also worked at the Italian Financial Services Authority (Consob) in Rome, where he was responsible for the supervision of public equity and derivatives markets in the market abuse department.
- What are your priorities for the next 12 months?
The coming 12 months is all about building the infrastructure we need to capture the next wave of exponential growth in the digital asset industry. It’s way too soon to call the current situation a full-blown Crypto Winter, but the market has slowed down considerably. In 2020, it was the DeFi boom that brought it back to life and we expect this time around it will be a combination of Web3, metaversal projects and in particular the GameFi economy that will kickstart the next chapter of intense market growth.
There are two ways Hex Trust is making this a reality.
First, we are upgrading our core technologies to provide connectivity to on-chain services and DeFi applications, and secure access to utilizing digital assets in the metaverse. Our vision is that there will be universal custody where any assets and protocols will be supported, all within an operational framework set to the highest standards and compliance requirements.
Second, we are creating an NFT-centric wallet together with Animoca Brands – leader in GameFi, metaverse, and digital property rights. The wallet is purpose-built for the billions of gamers about to enter the metaverse, delivering a smoother and easier experience for managing in-game assets. Initially, the application will be integrated across Animoca Brand’s portfolio of 200+ blockchain games, eventually extending far beyond that with a vision to make it everyone’s preferred Web3 ID application – or passport to the metaverse.
- What does crypto mean to you and what drew you to it?
The first time I heard of bitcoin was back in 2014, and I was immediately drawn into it. I could see the massive potential of a borderless decentralized cryptocurrency, which became even more clear as the industry expanded with altcoins, new features such as smart contracts, and the modular building blocks of today’s DeFi ecosystem. I knew this would change the financial services industry forever, and created Hex Trust together with my co-founder Rafal Czerniawski in 2018.
It’s not often that you witness the creation of an entirely new asset class. The opportunity at hand simply can’t be missed.
- What is your long-term view of crypto?
Eventually, the digital assets industry will transform from being an alternative financial system into an integral part of the global economy. The traditional financial services industry will always have its place, but it will be augmented by the decentralized financial ecosystem we are building today.
But perhaps the biggest change we’ll see in the long-run is how everyday people interact with digital assets. Today, it still mostly appeals to people deeply interested in tech and finance. In the future, much of our digital life will take place on platforms that include digital assets and blockchain technology components – without requiring the average user to know how it works.
Looking at games for example, all the user would experience is the ability to create an outfit for their game avatar, sell it on a decentralized marketplace, use the earned cryptocurrency to rent another player’s sword in another game, and earn NFT badges for completing challenges. All of this without ever needing to learn about the technical infrastructure that makes it possible like blockchain layer 1s and 2s, bridging protocols, or smart contracts for example.
- What advice would you give people investing in crypto?
I don’t give investment advice. However, I will say that if you’re interested in crypto, the best investment you can make is your time. We are building a decentralized world for finance, entertainment, art and beyond, which means everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the work and shape this future together. All skills are welcome and needed: from writing poetic code and designing delightful UI, to dipping into data lakes and curating the perfect memes.
- How do you feel about the way the world is regulating crypto?
We work closely with regulators in the areas that Hex Trust operates in, not only to obtain the appropriate licenses but also as a commitment to operate against the highest standards. As for regulations in general, more oversight and solid legal frameworks are good for the industry. It will provide more clarity to everyone participating in the digital asset economy, and boost investor confidence and protection.