From FT yesterday: Banks seek the key to blockchain

Blythe Masters ex-head of commodities at JP Morgan now runs a Blockchain startup call ‘Digital Asset Holdings‘, which  uses digital technology to enhance settlement and recording of both digital and mainstream financial assets. Last week, the company acquired ‘‘, which offers blockchain as a service (perhaps BaaS, or BCaaS).

Again for those Continue reading

SalesTrader dashboards

Sales Traders have traditionally been poorly served in terms of dedicated sales trader GUIs. This I think is related to salespeople being overly protective of their client relationships, and fearful that quoting clients electronically would in some way result in them being disintermediated by the machine.

Preferring instead to trade with clients by phone, thus ‘protecting and enhancing their personal ‘high touch’ relationship’ with the client. As a result, Sales GUIs never really received the attention they deserved, or needed.

Well, that’s going to change, for a variety of reasons, the main ones being: Continue reading

Here Comes HTML5 for Financial Markets (Greenwich Associates)

Came across this white paper from Greenwich Associates (from Jun 15) on the adoption of HTML5 within financial markets.

The report is based on interviews with 149 financial institutions, and found that technologists are rapidly shifting their focus toward the application needs of users, rather than the underlying operating system (OS). The focus is now on ‘The cloud, HTML5 and mobile’ (as was clearly identified in Caplin’s HTML5 in 2013: Where Next?  and Trading on the move white papers).

HTML5, is swiftly proving itself by delivering native, real-time financial applications that are OS and device agnostic. However, many who are unsure about even the near-term future of their OS and device requirements still aren’t devising an HTML5 strategy. This lack of planning may leave many ill-prepared for an OS or device upheaval within their firm.

Windows 7 still main desktop OS within Continue reading

Blockchain in Finance/trading

Ok, I admit I struggle to get my head round Blockchain and distributed ledgers. But what started as the secure transaction transfer mechanism, and record of asset ownership (I think), for Bitcoins may yet revolutionize much of how today’s banking systems operate.

Yesterday, another 13 of the world’s largest banks, bringing the total to 22 (including: Barclays, BofA, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, Goldman, HSBC, JP Morgan, M Stanley, Goldman, RBS, UBS and others),  joined a partnership to design and apply distributed ledger technologies and develop commercial applications for the global financial markets. The project will  seek to establish consistent standards and protocols for the technology in order to facilitate broader adoption and gain a network effect.

The partnership is being run by R3CEV, a Financial Innovator, whose CEO Continue reading

Moving legacy SDPs to HTML5 (in stages)

Given the ubiquitous ‘write once, deploy anywhere’ nature of HTML5, it’s not surprising that almost all new Single-Dealer Platforms (SDPs) are being written in HTML5.

The trend started a while back, and in his 2013 white paper, HTML5 in 2013: Where Next? (2nd one in the list), Patrick Myles, Caplin CTO identified three key reasons why everyone was moving to HTML5:

  • The move to cloud delivered services and Internet distributed applications has driven the need for lightweight, access-anywhere GUIs.
  • Apple and Google have embraced HTML5 as the future, building new-generation browsers themselves for the first time.
  • The drive to mobile and tablets, and the desire to re-use apps and code across platforms

Although, as Myles pointed out, there are challenges with HTML5, as it lacked many of the enterprise development features and tooling that developers expect and need to efficiently build large-scale, maintainable apps. It’s still evolving, meaning not all features are universally supported. Continue reading

Sign of the times, non-bank market marker XTX hires Zar Amrolia from the ‘mighty’ Deutsche bank

As banks continue to withdraw risk capital from market-making, we are seeing the continued rise of the non-bank market makers.

Firms that invest hugely in advanced low latency trading technology, that stand ready to commit their own capital to provide tight spreads and deep executable liquidity across FICC markets, from futures to rates and swaps and FX.

So it is perhaps fitting that after more than a decade building the ‘mighty’ Deutsche Bank’s FICC franchise to global dominance, that Zar Amrolia, the ex-Head of FICC is leaving the bank to join XTX Markets as co-CEO. XTX was recently spun out from hedge fund GSA Capital.

Commenting on the hire, Alex Gerko, CEO and former FX quant trader at Deutsche said:

“I am delighted to have Zar join XTX. He is an industry veteran who has added considerable value to the FX and fixed income markets during his career,… additionally we are both keen advocates of utilising technology to benefit the market ecology and increase transparency and efficiency for the end-user.

Non-bank market makers such as XTX and Virtu Financial and others, will in addition to providing liquidity to venues, look to extend their reach, leveraging their own investment in trading technology to provide more complete FX solutions to downstream regional banks.

Those banks, who have traditionally been serviced by the global players such as Deutsche, may well find that non-bank market makers can offer similar if not superior liquidity in some cases, and even license them technology to use within their own eCommerce solution stack – interesting times.

How should Investment Banks capitalise on the new Apple Watch for financial trading? (from Caplin’s tech blog)

At Caplin we run two blogs. This business focused blog, and our hugely popular tech blog called Platformability.

The tech blog mainly deals with technology issues, particularly those surrounding agile development and using native web technologies to build high-performance real-time web apps for financial trading.

It also looks at UX design, code testing and occasionally more diverse topics such as the psychology of UX design or how office environments can be, or not be, conducive to productive work.

As the audiences for the two blogs tend to be quite different, we rarely cross-post between the blogs.

However, given that today sees the new Apple Watch going on sale (apparently only in six stores globally), our tech team has marked the occasion by posting a discussion on how the Apple watch might be used by banks in finance, and it’s certainly worth a read.

With the launch of the Apple Watch Caplin wanted to board the wearable tech bandwagon. We wanted to ask the questions why and how should a sell side Investment Bank want to use wearable tech?

How should Investment Banks  capitalise on the new Apple Watch for financial trading?

Here is a link to the full post: How should Investment Banks capitalise on the new Apple Watch for financial trading?


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