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?

Mobile institutional trading – Its time has come


Despite mobile trading has long been the accepted norm in the retail trading space, banks have been slow to embrace mobile trading for their corporate and institutional clients, with most citing security and compliance concerns.

There have been some exceptions, like JP Morgan’s MorganDirect/Mobile and Deutsche’s Autobahn/mobile which permitted institutional and corporate clients to view live rates, access research see econ calendars, and modify existing orders and are now tentatively allowing trading.

However, with the backdrop of Continue reading

Single-Dealer Platforms evolve and remain relevant


The evolving global regulatory landscape is fundamentally changing how banks operate, the returns available, the business lines and markets in which they can effectively compete, and the way in which they interact with and service their clients via their Single-Dealer Platforms.

For example, under Dodd Frank, standardised swaps trading with clients will migrate from OTC bilateral trading, over to regulated venues such as SEFs. This will see the value proposition and revenue generated for banks likewise shift from a Continue reading

New Canadian exchange will not allow HFT access


Over the past year we have seen a number of platforms in the OTC space change their rules in order to “create a more level playing field for participants”, to ensure they are not disadvantaged by those with ‘high speed trading platforms’ – ie the High Frequency Trading (HFT) firms.

Now a new Canadian stock exchange being launchedAequitas Innovations Inc‘ that will not permit high-frequency trading! Press release here and more background info here

Continue reading