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SmartStream Launches Innovation Team SmartStream Technologies has launched a new innovation team tasked with creating solutions using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and blockchain technologies, in the areas of reconciliations, cash management, and fees and expense management. “Highly skilled members of the team include mathematicians, applied data scientists, computer scientists and PhDs, who will focus on the deployment of AI/ML and blockchain models with financial institutions. This includes evaluating optimal AI/ML modelling, data interpolation, running tests, implementations and analysing how AI processes best work within the current product environment by monitoring achievements and optimisation of processes, to enable better business outcomes,” the firm says in a release issued today.
CLS Invests in Blockchain Provider CLS has made a strategic investment in R3 and is planning to explore how Corda, R3's enterprise blockchain platform, can be deployed to improve efficiencies for its members. David Rutter, CEO of R3, comments: "CLS is critically important to the functioning of one of the most important markets in the world. It is absolutely right that major infrastructure players like this look to technologies such as blockchain to continue making their products and services faster, easier, safer and more cost-effective for the end user. CLS's investment is testament to Corda's position as the enterprise blockchain platform of choice for the financial services industry. We look forward to working with them."
AirSwap: Decentralised Trading for Cryptoassets AirSwap, a decentralised global marketplace for Ethereum tokens (ERC20), launched its peer-to-peer platform on April 25th, and saw $1 million worth of trades made over the platform within the first 24 hours. AirSwap is a blockchain-based search engine that comprises a bulletin board that uses software known as smart contracts to facilitate direct, peer-to-peer trading of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. In 2017, AirSwap developed and released its core technology followed by a $36 million token sale using the platform, led by co-founders Don Mosites and Michael Oved, an algo trader previously at Virtu Financial. Advisors to AirSwap include veteran investor Michael Novogratz, venture capitalist Bill Tai, and co-founder of Ethereum, Joe Lubin.
Commerzbank, Thyssenkrupp, Process FX Forward using Blockchain Commerzbank and German corporate Thyssenkrupp say that this week they traded an FX forward with the transaction being instantaneously replicated in a Blockchain successfully. The use of Blockchain completely eliminates the need for a manual or semi-automated reconciliation between the client and the bank, thereby drastically reducing operational risks in FX transactions, the firms say. The deal was in a one month EUR/PLN in EUR 500,000, and was initiated by Thyssenkrupp using FX Live Trader, Commerzbank’s FX trading platform. The deal confirmation was sent to Thyssenkrupp directly via Corda, a distributed ledger designed for finance by the R3 blockchain consortium. 

XTX Establishes e-Trading Facility in Singapore Trading firm XTX Markets’’ Singapore entity is building a new FX pricing and trading engine which will go live in Equinix’s Singapore SG1 data centre in June 2018. XTX says it believes that the SG1 build-out will enhance the e-FX trading experience for XTX’s counterparties in the region and in turn, help increase participation rates and volumes for e-FX activity conducted within Singapore to benefit the regional FX market ecosystem. “Under the Financial Services industry transformation map (ITM) introduced in October 2017, MAS aims to enhance the e-FX trading infrastructure to improve market transparency and facilitate price discovery of FX trading in the Asian time zone,” says Alan Yeo, executive director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
MarketFactory Releases Pre-Trade Risk Solution MarketFactory has released its new software product, Reflector, a pre-trade risk management service for banks, prime brokers and funds to help ensure trading limits are never broken. The firm says that Reflector addresses the need for risk management software that eliminates installation for the client, works with any FIX API, and monitors and balances all limits and positions across all trading venues. Additionally, it checks all orders pre-trade with a latency impact under three microseconds 99.999% of the time and supports over 60 trading venues. “Runaway algorithms or simply breaking a limit remain a major risk in an increasingly complex market,” says James Sinclair, executive chairman of MarketFactory. “We are very excited to see the positive impact that Reflector has for our customers. This includes both ensuring limits will be not be breached and allowing more efficient use of available credit.”
Capitolis Launches FX Novation Service Capitolis, the technology company founded by ex-Icap (now NEX Group) executive Gil Mandelzis, ex-Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer and Igor Teleshevksy, formerly of Traiana, has launched a novation service in FX. The firm says that Citi, HSBC, BlueCrest and Brevan Howard, among many other market participants, have collaborated with the firm on the service, which it adds is the first of its kind in FX. Capitolis Novation automates the currently manual workflow in both FX prime broking and bilateral trading, thus providing capital efficiencies for the FX market.
SmartTrade Adds Cryptocurrencies to its FX Platform In a release issued today, smartTrade Technologies revealed that it has added cryptocurrencies to its FX trading platform, LiquidityFX (LFX). “The cryptocurrency market is growing fast, and a large percentage of the current trading volumes is concentrated on the top 10 cryptocurrencies, which accounts for about 70% of daily turnover. It is also highly decentralised and finding the best price is, at best, opaque and challenging when trading,” says the firm. The release continues: “SmartTrade overcomes these challenges with its cryptocurrencies offering. LiquidityFX (LFX) platform includes connectivity to the major cryptocurrency exchanges and clients can leverage the sophisticated LFX aggregation system to obtain a normalised view of the cryptocurrency liquidity, to place orders and manage algorithms with Smart Order Routing (SOR) logic in a transparent manner.”
Kx Announces Support for Cryptocurrencies  Kx Systems has announced that its Kx for Flow electronic trading platform has been extended to support the trading of cryptocurrencies. Kx for Flow is an HTML5 white label foreign exchange trading platform offering users the ability to create bespoke liquidity pools and distribute price information to clients and markets. Flow offers direct access to liquidity sources including market-making banks, non-banks and ECNs providing pricing and execution for FX, NDFs, precious metals, CFDs, and now cryptocurrencies. Initial coverage will enable spot trading of bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, litecoin and ripple.
Bloomberg, Galaxy Digital Launch Crypto Index Bloomberg and Galaxy Digital Capital Management (GDCM), a digital asset management firm founded by Michael Novogratz, have launched the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI). The index is designed to track the performance of the largest, most liquid portion of the cryptocurrency market. The BGCI is market capitalisation-weighted and measures the performance of 10 USD-traded cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, monero, ripple, and Zcash. The index constituents are diversified across different categories of digital assets, including stores of value, mediums of exchange, smart contract protocols, and privacy assets.