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BestX to Offer Crypto TCA BestX is expanding its best execution analytics suite to include the main digital currencies of bitcoin, ether, litecoin, bitcoin cash and ripple. In a release issued today, BestX says that as adoption of these cryptocurrencies increases across new markets, the firm will look to meet the demand from its clients and deliver analytics that provide them the same transparency as for the traditional ‘fiat’ currencies. “We are proud to be the first independent TCA provider in the world to offer this service, enabling our clients to leverage the award-winning BestX analytics to provide transparency into otherwise quite opaque markets,” says BestX co-founder, Ollie Jerome. “We continue to future-proof our offering to meet client demand as digital currencies become increasingly legitimised by the professional investor community.”
CLS Live with New Tool for Asset Managers CLS’s new post-trade monitoring and reporting tool, CLSTradeMonitor, has gone live with the first asset managers, including Mesirow Financial and Mountain Pacific Advisors. CLSTradeMonitor delivers a real-time consolidated view of the match status details for all trades submitted to CLS. It aims to help asset managers efficiently manage their executed FX trades across all of their custodian banks. Trade status details are available across CLSSettlement providers and counterparties. CLSTradeMonitor was built in combination with CLSNet, a bilateral payment netting platform built on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform.
MahiFX Unveils MFX Echo This increased focus on execution quality has not been industry-wide, however, predominantly these analytics packages have been used by top end banks and some (but by no means all) of the larger, more sophisticated asset managers. Beyond those groups the challenge of cost or complexity (or both) has limited access and the willingness to engage with the data. Financial technology provider MahiFX is seeking to redress the balance, however, with the launch of MFX Echo, a trade analysis, liquidity visualisation and price-explain tool.
 OTCXN Completes Test Trade Between Fiat, Cryptocurrency OTC Exchange Network (OTCXN), a blockchain-powered capital markets infrastructure company, today announced that it completed its first live test trades for the exchange of tokenised fiat currency and bitcoin. The infrastructure provider says that it believes this to be the first time that tokenised US dollars and tokenised bitcoin have been exchanges between two separate trading accounts over an electronic trading platform with assets held in safekeeping at a neutral custodian and digitised on blockchain. Currently, institutional traders usually conduct block trades of fiat currency and cryptocurrency over e-mail and chat, relying on the reputation and credibility of their counterparties to honor their part of the trades, often taking hours to confirm and settle. The OTCXN platform aims to remove trading counterparty and settlement risk with an atomic exchange of assets on high-performance blockchain and facilitates settlement of transactions instantly, not in hours or days.
Cobalt Unveils Its New Credit Platform Cobalt, the shared back and middle office FX infrastructure provider, has unveiled its new credit management platform. One of the issues that this credit engine attempts to solve for the market is the challenge faced by credit providers. Over the last ten years the number of prime brokers in the FX market has shrunk, in part because the risk of suffering a major loss from a defaulting client has in some cases failed to justify returns. According to Cobalt, this risk is driven by the inability to allocate and manage credit at FX trading venues in real-time, meaning the party with the credit risk is often the last to know. By enabling central real-time credit management, the Cobalt claims that its platform overcomes these issues entirely.
Exclusive: OTCXN Acquires Ogg Trading OTC Exchange Network (OTCXN), which uses proprietary blockchain technology in a bid to eliminate trading counterparty and settlement risk on their trading network, has acquired Ogg Trading, a provider of FX trading technology. Through this deal, which closed on June 18, 2018, OTCXN will acquire all Ogg Trading’s technology including the dark pool that it previously ran in partnership with Bloomberg. The dark pool is a complete matching engine technology stack. The plan is to add market data publishing to this platform in order to create a regular central limit order book (CLOB) with a lit pool of liquidity. Ogg Trading also has a liquidity aggregator and smart order router (SOR) system that can be deployed to run a quote driven market place.
Exclusive: Broadway Expands to Support Crypto Trading Broadway Technology is extending its full software stack to support firms trading cryptoassets. “We’re basically taking our entire software stack - which is already asset class agnostic - and making it available to both buy side and sell side firms that are trading cryptos. Fundamentally, what we’re trying to do is provide institutional market participants with much better software and access to what is a pretty volatile and challenging space for them to trade in,” explains Tyler Moeller, co-founder and CEO of Broadway. This software stack can be used to power a firm’s entire risk management, trade management and e-commerce capabilities - meaning that it can be used for order routing, algo execution, quoting prices, hedging and risk and credit management.
Thomson Reuters Expands Cryptocurrency Sentiment Data Tracking Thomson Reuters (TR) announces the expansion of its sentiment data offerings to track the top 100 cryptocurrencies through its partnership with MarketPsych Data, a firm that focuses on quantitative behavioral science. The new MarketPsych Indices (TRMI) package uses machine learning and natural language processing to measure a breadth of emotional and topical items across news and social media sites that may drive market participant behaviour in cryptocurrency markets. The firm claims the addition is notable because online communications and information flow are more significant drivers of cryptocurrency value than they are for traditional financial assets.
Financial Services Blockchain Spending Jumps to $1.7bn The financial services industry is spending about $1.7 billion per year on blockchain, according to a new report by Greenwich Associates. The report, based on 200 interviews with market participants covering blockchain budgets, team sizes, use case exploration, key challenges and other issues, concludes that banks and other firms are moving beyond the proof-of-concept stage and starting to roll out commercial distributed ledger technology (DLT) products. The study results show that blockchain budgets increased 67% last year, with one in 10 of the banks and other companies now reporting blockchain budgets in excess of $10 million.
Currenex Shifts White Label Technology Focus to Regional, Mid-Tier Banks Currenex is shifting the focus of its white label business to increasingly target regional and mid-tier banks, citing a number of broader industry-wide trends for this change. Traditionally, Currenex has focused on selling its institutional grade technology infrastructure to brokerage firms, which then re-brand it in order to provide FX trading services to their own customers. The most recent example of this is the institutional platform launched by the retail broker Oanda at the start of May, which will utilise a branded version of Currenex’s HTML trading front-end.