Julian Koh

Julian Koh is the CEO and co-founder of . He is a software engineer who has worked in since 2018.


Koh attended Cornell University to study computer science but dropped out after two years to research cryptocurrency and pursue a career in the field. [1][2]


While in college, Koh took a gap year where he spent time researching crypto and working part-time. His engineering job was at , an AI-run, crowd-sourced hedge fund in San Francisco. He worked there for seven months before moving to Metastable Capital, a cryptocurrency asset hedge fund, where he researched the latest cryptocurrency trends as a consultant. [2]

After dropping out of university, he became a software engineer at , a platform. He worked on crypto integrations, custody, and for the company. [2]

Ribbon Finance

While working at Coinbase, Koh worked with his roommate on various crypto concepts and tried to create new things in the crypto space during nights and weekends. After receiving support from former co-workers and past partners, Koh left Coinbase and co-founded Ribbon Finance, a protocol providing structured crypto products and investment tactics, in November 2020. [2]


About Ribbon Finance

Koh sat down with Token Terminal in October 2022 to discuss Ribbon Finance and his plans for its future. The interview began with him explaining each of the products the company had developed at the time, starting with Ribbon Earn. Koh explained how this product came to be: [3]

“What we are most well known for are these like DOVs and how these DOVs work is you get paid these premiums for selling potential upside or potential downside in an asset. So, you sell a call option or you sell a put option and you get paid some premiums. But these products obviously are not risk-free. So, if the price of the asset goes up a lot or goes down a lot, you could lose some money. And I think in a , people are happy to take that risk. People want to juice out that additional API on their assets.”

“A lot of people are sitting in Stables. They don't want to take market risk. They have no view on whether the value is going to go up or down a lot. They just want to be market-neutral. So, we started exploring a bunch of new product categories which basically don't have the same type of exposure to the market as DOVs. This category of products, which is what we call Ribbon Earn, it's like even if the price of goes down by 50, you don't lose your principle. I think that's sort of the main reason why we called it these principle protected products.”

He then talked about Ribbon Lend and how the company came up with the idea: [3]

“We were thinking about okay how do we actually do this lending component on chain like do we build our own thing. Do we like plug into Maple or some of these other guys like how should we architect this product and strategically we were thinking about okay maybe it makes sense to plug into one of these other landing protocols but you know we were sort of thinking about this stuff and it sort of made a bit more sense to own like the lending piece as well like we have this product Ribbon Earn which we know for sure is going to drive like a good amount of flow to a lending protocol.”

Toward the end of the interview, Koh discussed why the company created Aevo and its purpose in the Ribbon ecosystem: [3]

“The main reason why we wanted to build this was because we basically saw a lot of competition in the DOV space, like in Q4 of last year and Q1 of this year. You know, there were all these forks, all these competitors doing very similar things, and realistically, all of us were trading against the same 10 big institutional trading firms. So, we had to really think about why our product was going to be superior long term. There's no reason why any of these DOVs, including us, will have an advantage on execution. So we thought, okay, everyone's going to get the same price from all these market makers. Then maybe it's really like a fee game in the end, like a fee is going to compress to zero. We thought that is like a very big possibility.”

“What if we could actually build like a fully featured options exchange like on chain and basically redirect a lot of the option flows from these vaults into the exchange to basically make it like a fully vertically integrated experience we thought that was a very compelling idea if you wanted to buy like a hundred ETH calls or like a thousand ETH calls on chain in any options protocol like there's no liquidity anywhere for you to do that even though that's not really considered like a big trade so we thought the current experience across like all options protocols kind of sucks so let's just like rebuild the whole stack from scratch.”

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Julian Koh

Commit Info

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Edited On

March 4, 2024


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