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Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary from the John Lothian News staff and guests editors.

ESMA Keeping Tight Leash On EU Trading Venues Standard

Steven Maijoor, chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), said MiFID II rules launched in January are indeed living up to expectations of pushing more trading onto exchanges, but more work may be required. In remarks before the World Federation of Exchanges annual meeting in Athens, Maijoor said less trading volume is flowing to dark pools and onto exchanges and so-called systematic internalisers (SIs), used by banks and algorithmic trading firms to fill customer orders. The use of ongoing periodic auctions for contracts, however, is coming under greater scrutiny, Maijoor said. These millisecond auctions may not being adhering…

Introducing Bitmain Standard

In preparing for its IPO, Bitmain, a Chinese bitcoin-mining services firm, has provided detailed insights into its operations. As one of the largest business entities in the industry and occupying as it does a central position in the industrial organization of bitcoin, Bitmain’s filings reveal a lot about the forces behind cryptocurrency economics. Introducing Bitmain BitMain Technologies Holding Company is the world’s largest producer and seller of bitcoin mining equipment. On Wednesday, September 26, they filed a much anticipated (draft) prospectus for an IPO on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Since it’s a draft, Bitmain felt free at this…

Look Who’s Talking Standard

Last week many of us were surprised to hear EF Hutton talk again – Wow! They exist? – when Hutton issued three press releases over eight days. Hutton has emerged as potentially much cooler, socially conscious version of a money machine and not just because the money takes the form of cryptocurrency. It seems that Hutton’s brand had been hanging out somewhere deep in Citigroup until half a dozen years ago when it was resurrected and sent out to fare on its own. EF Hutton today is a broker dealer unit of HUTN, Inc. Based in Springfield, Ohio, HUTN’s CEO…

How blockchain may be used to create “smart cities” – Paul Doherty of TDG Standard

Paul Doherty, founder and chairman of The Digit Group (TDG), a company that designs, builds, and maintains what he calls “smart cities” around the world, was one of the speakers at Chicago’s 2018 “Voice of Blockchain” event at Navy Pier last month. In 2017, Doherty accompanied Donald Trump on his trip to China as part of a delegation of 30 CEOs from major U.S. companies. The trip proved fruitful for TDG – Doherty and Gong Yueqiong, president of the Chinese company Foton Motor Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the trip. According to the MOU, Foton Motor Group,…

What does your clearinghouse DEFCON scale look like today? Standard

Talk about timing. Ten years after the collapse of the global financial market and a decade of rebuilding it, Nasdaq reports that Nasdaq Clearing had to cover for a clearing member default of €114 million on Nasdaq Nordic,  a default so large it took up 68 percent of the default funds from other clearing member firms. According to reports from the Financial Times and Bloomberg, a trader by the name of Einar Aas (one letter off from a joke here), defaulted on Nasdaq’s power market on September 11, forcing Nasdaq Clearing to tap into clearing member default funds. Aas reportedly was…

X_TRADER Transformed The Industry: Now It’s Time To Do It Again Standard

The announcement that Trading Technologies will be shutting down its X_TRADER platform is not a big surprise. But what that platform has done over its 25-year lifespan certainly is. And what the new TT platform may do in the coming months and years may be equally astounding. Taking a look back, there’s not a single ISV trading platform that has had a greater impact on the industry than X_TRADER. Launched in 1994, the technology that included patented breakthroughs like the ubiquitous price ladder and autospreader transformed the trading industry with Harris Brumfield’s trader’s eye for functionality and speed. The patents…

Custody Battle Brewing Over Crypto Assets, and That’s a Good Thing Standard

cryptocurrency dollar

It was just a few months ago that the cryptocurrency markets were bemoaning the lack of institutional-grade custody services. Without them, no right-minded fund or asset manager was going to get anywhere near this market. And if they did, they had already written their firm’s obituary and put it in a drawer just in case. It reads something like this: “Thank you, dear customer, for investing your hard-earned fiat currency into our kick-ass digital asset fund. Unfortunately, someone in the Seychelles, Pyongyang, Kiev, Tehran or all of the above has stolen our crypto assets. With regret, we will be liquidating…

Cinnober’s new CEO will have to consider the next move Standard

The news that Veronica Augustsson was out as CEO of Cinnober Financial Technologies and newcomer Peter Lenardos was in was a shock. Augustsson, who had been CEO the past six years and with the firm since 2002, grew up with the company and reached a pinnacle few women ever reach. She did so with warmth and a friendly smile, but she also had a vision to diversify the company into a variety of sectors beyond its core business of real-time clearing, risk and surveillance systems for exchanges. After all, there is a limited number of exchanges with clearing houses –…

Crypto and the Law at IIT Blockchain Conference Standard

It used to be said that August was a quiet month for the markets – but apparently no one told that to the boosters of blockchain and cryptoassets, at least in Chicago. The month of August 2018 has no fewer than three significant conferences, each with its own special flavor, kicking off with “Block (Legal) Tech: A conference about the future of the law” on August 9. Hosted by the Law Lab at Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law and FinTEx, the event gathered experienced lawyers in the cryptoasset space and regulators for a day-long look at the past, present…