Picture this. It’s the early 1990s in London. A 19-year old rookie is literally thrown into the middle of the Bund futures trading pit. Orders flying around at a dizzying pace. Howls of ridicule and abuse from the merciless pack of 200 traders surrounding him…
Yep, that was me! But starting out like that as an open outcry pit trader gave me a 3D view of the market mechanics and a lasting fascination with the dynamics. Even now that everything is screen-based, I still visualize a futures market exactly the same as I always have: a large, baying crowd of aggressive individuals trying to outwit one other and take each other’s money.
A market is a living, breathing beast with a life of its own that nobody can control. It’s an arena where buy and sell orders fly around, coming from every direction, clashing with each other in apparent chaos.
For me, coming from this live-action environment means that I know short term trading has almost nothing to do with the fundamentals of the underlying instrument. Rather, successful scalpers have the ability to visualize how that crowd is behaving, in an attempt to predict what they might do in the next few seconds or minutes. Whatever it is that they’re buying and selling is largely irrelevant.
Digitalizing the Pit Experience
When you want to transfer these trading pit dynamics onto a computer screen, it’s imperative that the technology is up to the task. Screen-based traders must be able to submit trades as quickly and easily as shouting “Sold!”, and they must be able to see bids and offers moving in real time even in the busiest times.
Fast and reliable technology that works without hiccups or glitches, and that clearly displays exactly what is going on right now, is critical to the success of an exchange. And the large futures exchanges like CME and LIFFE that made the transition from open outcry pit trading to electronic trading did a very good job with the technology. It wasn’t an option – they had to.
These companies poured millions of dollars into creating highly resilient, robust, lightning-fast systems that were up to the job. As a result, they’ve gone from strength to strength.
The importance of good technology in an electronic trading environment is seared into my brain because I know that a market isn’t just numbers on a screen. The electronic trading pit must offer the same low latency and resilience and speed of execution and speed of communication as a physical crowd of people. Because that’s essentially what it is. Any shortcomings, even in just one of these areas, will have a direct negative effect on liquidity.
And lack of liquidity is a market-killer. CME knew that, LIFFE knew that, and I know that.
Winners Never Quit, and Quitters Never Win
It’s with this 3D clarity of purpose that I’m approaching the development of the Digitex Futures exchange. Our trading platform must be the absolute best that it can be if we want to achieve the level of success that I want and expect. The crypto trading community is showing massive interest in Digitex and the concept of zero-fee futures trading. I refuse to jeopardize that by releasing a trading platform that is not up to the job.
I’ve received a lot of criticism for the development delays that we have suffered, and I take full responsibility for that. Mistakes were made in my choice of developers and also in how I managed them. But having made those mistakes I won’t compound them further by accepting what they gave me and releasing a trading platform that doesn’t accurately transfer the dynamics of the trading pit onto your computer screen.
My only available course of action was to learn from my mistakes. So I carried on and hired the best development team I could find and moved to Moscow to work with them full time, side by side. It never crossed my mind to quit. I will continue to execute my vision until I get the exchange I want.
If We’re Gonna Do This, We’re Gonna Do It Right
The testnet platform that we release on November 30th will be the product of my refusal to accept second best. As a trader, you will be able to view real-time price action on an intuitive ladder interface. You’ll have the ability to submit trades instantly, with a single click of the mouse, with no mouse movement or keyboard strokes needed, never taking your eyes from the price action.
Bids and offers will literally move up and down the trading ladder, enabling you to get in the zone and visualize what’s happening and what might happen next. All relevant market information will be displayed without needing to scroll and you’ll be able to react instantly to any situation with little to no mouse movement.
Despite heavy load from thousands of active traders pursuing high frequency trading strategies that aren’t viable on fee-charging exchanges, the Digitex matching engine will be fast and efficient enough to deal with the resulting liquidity.
A Rare Beast, Waiting to be Unleashed
Ease of use and a matching engine that works under heavy strain sound so simple, right? Like they should be something we can just take for granted. But if you look at the majority of cryptocurrency exchanges that are out there right now, you can see for yourself how rare this level of quality actually is.
There are literally hundreds of examples of shit exchanges with ugly, glitchy trading interfaces. Multiple mouse movements and keyboard strokes to do anything even before you execute a trade. Fragile and badly built matching engines that just don’t work properly.
This lack of quality doesn’t surprise me. I’ve learned firsthand that it’s very difficult to create a fast and robust exchange with an intuitive interface and a matching engine that can withstand the rigors of thousands of active traders. Most companies fail miserably because they rush to bring a product to market. Once it’s live, they only care about making a quick profit from your trading fees. But in so doing they join the ranks of hundreds of other irrelevant and illiquid exchanges.
The Digitex Futures exchange will stand head and shoulders above the rest. Our platform will be a well designed, easy to use, highly liquid exchange with a bulletproof matching engine that just works. We’re taking our inspiration from the trading platforms developed by the likes of CME and LIFFE, not the substandard crypto exchanges that dominate the current market.
The launch of the testnet is only the very beginning. Digitex is the natural culmination of my trading journey so far, and there is so much more that I want to do with it over the coming years.
This is why it’s so important to start off on the right foot. With a solid, robust platform that is capable of handling the high liquidity created by thousands of traders who are suddenly unshackled by the restraints of transaction fees.
Thanks for sticking with us so far. I promise it will be worth the wait.
If you want to get ahead of our launch, right now is a great time to buy DGTX tokens. The best way to get yours is to buy from the Digitex Treasury, which is now open. Purchases are instant and trustless, so your DGTX will be in your wallet, ready and waiting for when we launch our zero-commission exchange.
Lion Asset Management managed funds remain closed to new clients except by recommendation from an existing client. Our funds are exclusively offered ONLY to Professional Investor, Professional, Eligible Counterparty, High Net Worth or Sophisticated Investors dependent on your jurisdiction.
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