AlphaPoint – Digital Asset Exchange Software Blockchain ...

Bitfinex chapter, quick preview: an attempt to explain WTF. Doesn't include latest developments. Please nitpick.

Currently trying to do a non-shit cover for the book, which is actually a huge amount of work given I have no artistic talent whatsoever (though I'm OK at graphic design).
So instead of doing that, here's what I have so far on a current rich seam of comedy gold!
Please look over this and flag any inaccuracies or unclear bits. What they did is convoluted and confusing, and a good example of why bankruptcy laws exist, so we need to maximise clarity.
The latest developments are not included, except the redemption. But OH BOY WILL SAID DETAILS BE FUN!
Bitfinex: software competence turns out not to be optional
If you’re not interested in mining or selling something to get bitcoins, exchanges unfortunately haven’t improved much since Mt. Gox.
Bitfinex is one of the closer things Bitcoin has, or had, to a reputable exchange. Advocates liked and trusted it and enjoyed using it – it has margin trading and other fancy features – and recommended it to others.
Its software turned out to be made entirely of copy-and-pasted cheese and string that nobody at all knew how to fix. This is quite typical of Bitcoin-related code and systems, as if financial software and systems had never happened.
Bitfinex was based on the codebase from defunct exchange Bitcoinica, which was founded by sixteen-year-old Bitcointalk user “Zhoutong” and shut down after being hacked in 2012. One of Bitfinex's early developers described what the system was like when he had been working on it:[1]
It has proved impossible to cleanly modularize and upgrade zhoutong’s spaghetti code. (Or if it is possible, Bitfinex technical team doesn’t know how to proceed.) In the current system, everything is entangled. There is no clean separation of concerns. They inherited this steaming shitpile of a codebase and they're stuck with it.
Their legacy data model, as implemented in their current system is insane. The system was designed by a 16 year old FFS! Everything is ad hoc, there is no specification, there was zero documentation, there is minimal accounting for edge cases, exception handling was tacked on as an afterthought. There was no thinking things through. Everything is ad-hoc! Therefore it kinda works except when it doesn’t!
A Bitfinex representative responded stating that “a grand total of 0 lines from Bitcoinica's code exist on Bitfinex” (the site moved at least partially to the AlphaPoint platform in 2015), but the poster asked him to explain, if Bitfinex had an all-new codebase, how they had accurately reproduced bugs that dated back to Bitcoinica.
The software problems were glossed over for years, because day traders are otherwise known as compulsive gamblers, and cryptocurrency day traders are the worst. I don’t often use the word “degenerate,” but if I did, they’re who I’d apply it to: reduced to a lizard brain, typing and clicking obsessively and watching for a number to change and provide a hit to the pleasure centre, all other mental and bodily functions atrophied. They make foreign exchange day traders look sober, considered and balanced.
On 12 August 2016, nearly 120,000 BTC (then around US$60 million) was stolen from Bitfinex customer accounts. The accounts were secured with multiple signatures, including from third party agency Bitgo, but the hacker seemed to know Bitfinex’s systems and even overrode Bitfinex’s transaction limits. On many accounts, two of the three signatures were Bitfinex, and Bitgo routinely allowed all requests from Bitfinex because there were so many.
Usually a theft of this magnitude heralds an exchange disappearing or shutting up shop with apologies, or the regulators noticing their existence and swooping in. In this case, as the supplier of gambling trading facilities not available elsewhere, Bitfinex felt there was sufficient demand for their services that a drastic action would be considered acceptable to their users. To wit: a 36% “haircut” for all customers. Depositors who had been hacked would be compensated with money from depositors who hadn’t.
You might think that compensating your customers using money from other customers, while the managers or owners don’t take a hit in any way, would be grossly illegal in any reasonable financial system. Particularly as bankruptcies usually go creditors, then depositors, and equity holders last. But welcome to Bitcoin.
Why on earth did the users put up with this? Secondly, because this was claimed to be the haircut they’d take if Bitfinex were to liquidate. (No, Bitfinex didn't show their working.) But firstly, because they were obsessive gamblers, desperate for more access to their strip mall casino. Bitfinex promptly went back up to No. 1 on the Bitcoin exchange volume charts, because Bitcoiners never learn.
Bitfinex didn’t want its users to feel they’d been left high and dry. So it offered them Bitfinex tokens (BFX) for their losses, saying (though not guaranteeing) that they’d totally come through at some later date on these IOUs and reimburse the holders with their face value:[2]
The token is a notional credit, is dependent on the Bitfinex Group’s recovery of Losses, and is subordinated to any claims against the Bitfinex Group not related to the Losses.
Meanwhile, you could trade these tokens – trading away your right to reimbursement if the stolen coins were recovered – and use them as collateral for financed trades! Only on Bitfinex, of course:
The token and your rights pursuant thereto may not be assigned except with notice to, and the prior consent of, the Bitfinex Group, on terms to be determined by the Bitfinex Group.
You might think this would constitute offering an unregistered security, but welcome to Bitcoin. The price for BFX dropped below its $1 face value even before release, opening at $0.80 and ending the day at $0.32.
Bitfinex redeemed about 1% of the BFX in early September. As it happened, they had enabled margin trading on BFX one day before, and the price went up from $0.40 to $0.56 just before the announcement. Speculation was that they had paid for the 1% redemption using insider margin trading on the BFX itself, thus looking good for free,[3] but I’m sure it was all just pure coincidence.
Bitfinex was getting their customers coming and going, and keeping them coming and going. Around the time of the 1% redemption, 30% of trading on Bitfinex was BFX, which they collected trading fees on. Furthermore, the BFX tokens kept their customers on Bitfinex in the hope of a payout, rather than just cashing out and never coming back.
In October, they came up with another layer on the scheme: the Recovery Right Token (RRT), for everyone who had converted their BFX for further gambling. Should any of the stolen coins ever be recovered, Bitfinex would first pay back the BFX holders who had not converted their BFX to something else, then pay back RRT holders with the remainder. That’s a made-up token on a made-up token on money they would normally have had to pay back.
Convoluted arrangements like this are part of why bankruptcy laws, let alone financial trading regulations, exist: so that creditors and depositors get paid first and fairly in a clear and open manner, rather than having what they are owed obscured in fast-talking flimflam.
In the meantime, Bitfinex set a financial and security audit in motion. Not by any such tawdry profession as actual accountants; they used “Ledger Labs Inc., a top blockchain forensics and technology firm,” which happens to be run by Vitalik Buterin, creator of altcoin Ethereum (of which more later).[4]
They also posted an open letter to the hacker, seeking “a mutually agreeable arrangement in exchange for an enormous bug bounty”, i.e., if only they would explain how they’d hacked Bitfinex: “Our interest here is not to accuse, blame or make demands, but rather to discuss an arrangement that we think you will find interesting.”[5]
It was entirely unclear to any observer what possible arrangement would be more interesting to the thief than “I have all your bitcoins now.” The stolen bitcoins are slowly being sold off through other exchanges.[6] This is very like a bank accepting dye-marked notes known to have been stolen from another bank and deciding they don’t care. At least Bitfinex will never have to cash in those RRTs.
In April 2017, Bitfinex announced they would finally redeem 100% of the BFX tokens for their $1.00 face value![7] This involves paying back the dollar value of the stolen bitcoins at the time of the theft – i.e., about half what it was by April. They also shut down all margin positions on BFX, putting users with insufficient collateral into debt to them (on a margin position on their own debt).
The founder of Bitfinex, Raphael Nicolle, has never seemed to appreciate the problem financial regulators tend to have with schemes that pay early investors using money from later investors. He enthusiastically backed the Pirateat40 Ponzi – though at least he later apologised for that one[8] – and came up with a high-yield scheme of his own:
So I'm thinking of the following plan: when I need more coins than I have to fill an order, I will ask everyone that previously “registered” with me to lend me some btc. After 7 days, I will return all of it, principal + 2% interests. For you to be contacted, you would have to post here or in PM to say you might lend me bitcoins, and approx. how many you'd be willing to lend me.[9]
Nicolle has not been seen online since the 120,000 BTC hack.[10]
The Bitfinex hack does answer one common question about Bitcoin:
“If you're so down on Bitcoin, why don't you short it?”
“Well ...”
1 elux. Comment on “[Daily Discussion] Sunday, October 04, 2015”. Reddit /bitcoinmarkets, 4 October 2015.
2 Bitfinex. “BFX Token Terms”. August 2016.
3 e.g., 7a11l409b1d3c65. "Buttfinex pays back 1% of their debt - Butters cheer, not realizing that they have been scammed again". Reddit /buttcoin, September 2016.
4 Zane Tackett. “Bitfinex: Update Regarding Security Audit, Financial Audit, And More”. Reddit /bitcoinmarkets, 17 August 2016.
5 Giancarlo Devasini. “Message to the individual responsible for the Bitfinex security incident of August 2, 2016”. Bitfinex blog, 21 October 2016.
6 Andrew Quentson. “Bitfinex’s Hacked Bitcoins Are on the Move; 5% Recovery Bounty Offered”. CryptoCoinsNews, 27 January 2017.
7 “100% Redemption of Outstanding BFX Tokens”. Bitfinex, 3 April 2017.
8 unclescrooge. “[shame thread]The sorry and thank you Pirateat40 thread”. Bitcointalk.org Bitcoin Forum > Economy > Marketplace > Lending > Long-term offers, 17 August 2012.
9 unclescrooge. "Unclescrooge 1-week deposit program at 2%/week". Bitcointalk.org Bitcoin Forum > Economy > Marketplace > Lending > Long-term offers, 13 September 2012.
10 Andrew Quentson. “Bitfinex’s Founder Seemingly Tried to Start a Ponzi Scheme”. Cryptocoins News, 8 June 2016. hai
submitted by dgerard to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin's Virginity, Benjamin's Big Short & the DRW Connection

Bitcoin -- The Virgin Sacrifice
TLDR: http://i.imgur.com/6pJyV3I.jpg
Up until now the Bitcoin markets & trading-sphere have largely been an outworld where legacy HFT firms could not dare enter -- they were instead left sidelined to peer through the murky ether at an untapped virgin goddess with her large bid/ask spreads and fragmentation. These aligning characteristics has caused a growing restlessness and salivating for the potential profits of "tapping that".
Enter the recent AlphaPoint integration into BitFinex's backend and one of the final pieces for institutional order flow to enter the Bitcoin trading ecosystem is near complete -- although this may not be in the form of hopium bitcoin believers perceive as "Wall Street getting in" -- more on that later
Here is the latest release:
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/04/28/729278/0/en/Bitfinex-Completes-AlphaPoint-Integration.html
TLDR: The most significant point I took away from this is the ability to interact with BFX through the FIX protocol -- "FIX has become the de facto messaging standard for pre-trade and trade communication in the global equity markets, and is expanding into the post-trade space to support straight through as well as continuing to expand into FX, fixed income and derivatives markets." FIX is essentially the backbone of modern financial interactions between broker-dealer and hedge fund communications to the exchanges. OKCoin has had FIX enabled for some time now and it was announced on our very own Google Hangout that a EURO based hedge fund was utilizing their platform -- enter the well known 20x OKC "woodchipper" and I will allow you to draw your own conclusions on that matter. (http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/2m04s4/okcoin_rep_says_a_new_hedge_fund_controlling_3/)
It has also become public that the specific HFT firms DRW Trading Group and Citadel have taken steps to enter the crypto space(http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-investor-involvement-could-boost-bitcoin-1428259814). This is not only apparent in DRW's presence at the latest Inside Bitcoins NYC conference speaking privately to both OKCoin and BFX but also their large winning of the DPR coins at the last auction via their subsidiary Cumberland Mining -- all signs pointing toward a large and active presence for DRW in the BTC markets.
Benjamin's Big Short & the DRW Connection
Another page out of the BTC trading folklore is the larger than life character known by the handle Benjamin(http://tradingview.comBenjamin%20/ ) on TradingView and sporting his Uncle Ben's Rice avatar -- many await his appearance like a Lock Ness Monster sighting in TradingView Chat or TeamSpeak. In early January his 3 person team borrowed 50,000 BTC to short bitcoin sub $200 -- he announced on TeamSpeak that his team was originally planning on borrowing these coins from a chinese connection but ended up going through a London hedge fund -- I give you DRW Trading Group's London office.
Many of the myoptic minded bitcoiners quibbled that why would a hedge fund allow someone to borrow coins for the purpose of shorting -- only to return them with significantly less value at a future date. Regardless if DRW was hedging off the risk before hand they would be charging a fair amount of interest fees on that amount of borrowed coins but the MOST interesting "coincidence" was the backdrop of the looming DPR auction. An auction in which Cumberland Mining scooped up an additional 27,000 BTC adding to their inventory and reducing their cost basis. The question remains if they are still looking to acquire in the next auction and I will stop short of speculating whether they are.
[I was actually debating whether to exclude this portion entirely as I thought it would distract from the real substance of what I was getting at knowing well that /bitcoinmarkets likes to devolve into /conspiracytheory very quickly. It is just really something to ponder of all the pieces involving DRW/Cumberland Mining]
The Changing Retail Trader Landscape
I do not want to go into the minutia of the Auction details itself and the Cumberland Mining mystery as I think the Coindesk article(http://www.coindesk.com/secretive-mining-firm-revealed-as-possible-us-marshals-auction-winne) does a great job of divining into topic for those interested. What I do want to focus on is the consequences to bitcoin retail trading going forward with these new players stepping in.
What these funds are doing is engaging in is mainly market making and advanced algorithmic trading where they simply see BTC as part of their asset inventory to feed off of the supple virgin order flow that has been inaccessible until now. BTC is a new speculative asset class and they see the price of BTC only as a cost basis and are not necessarily interested in its direct appreciation as an investment vehicle. With that said active retail traders may find that their strategies stop working and can & will be used against them. As Sang Lucci says pertaining to the listed space any retail strategy that can be algorithm-itised has been and will be soon enough into Bitcoin as well.
Largely, I believe that this is a necessarily step towards seeing the institutional (portfolio style) money come in that the bitcoin believers have been ranting about for so long. But to be perfectly clear these HFT/algo hedge funds make their money on the order flow not the fundamental appreciation of the underlying security -- however -- they may not be mutually exclusive but it is important to make this distinction as I believe it is often conflated and misrepresented as overtly bullish.
submitted by BTCVIX to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Weekly Blockchain Finance News

AB Int’l acquired iCrowdU, Blank check Megalith files for USD 150m IPO, Boldface header, Deepbrain airdrops USD 3m, GSR upsizes tZero investment to USD 400m, Petroteq arranges debt for equity swap, World Bank mandates CBA for first blockchain bond, CoinBase poached Amazon’s Tim Wagner and Q2 VC investment report
The Blockchain finance newsletter gets readers up to date on the latest funding news and related issues.
• Mergers and acquisitions
AB International, the Hong Kong, China-based tech focused investment firm, said it acquired blockchain-backed crowdfunding startup iCrowdU. The company raised its stake to a controlling 51% from the original 11%. AB International filed its most recent 10-Q late in the US after sacking senior executives in May.
• Filings
Megalith Financial Acquisition, the New York City-based blank-check company seeking to buy financial technology companies, said it is raising USD 150m from the initial public offering of 15m shares at USD 10.00 each. The company identified blockchain as one area of management expertise.
• Funding
Libra, the New York City-based cryptoasset services company, said it raised USD 15m in a Series B led by an unidentified family office in Europe. The company provides back-office services.
Audius, the San Francisco, California-based blockchain company focused on the music industry, said it raised USD 5.5m in a Series A led by General Catalyst and Lightspeed. The company sees itself as a rival to SoundCloud.
Lambda, the Singapore-based blockchain data storage company, said it is raising up to USD 5m in a token crowdsale.
tribeOS, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based blockchain company focused on advertising, said Bitmain invested USD 3m. Bitmain, the Beijing, China-based cryptocurrency mining equipment maker, is likely to soon file for an initial public offering, according to a Fortune report last week. The company raised USD 400m in a pre-IPO financing led by Sequoia Capital, according to a China Money report in June citing local media.
Deepbrain Chain, the Singapore-based blockchain company focused on AI research, is airdropping USD 3m, according to a Bitsonline report.
Sagewise, the Long Beach, California-based blockchain contractual dispute services firm, said it raised USD 1.25m in a seed round led by Wavemaker Genesis.
True Nature, the Atlanta, Georgia-based developing healthcare related software applications, said it filed a shelf for a USD 6m equity financing with GHS Investments. The products the company develops may carry blockchain encryption.
Overstock.com, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based online retailer, said its blockchain subsidiary tZERO raised the amount of financing it was receiving from Hong Kong-based GSR Capital to USD 404m. Overstock said in June tZERO was raising USD 160m.
Vemanti, the Newport Beach, California-based investment holding company, said it invested an unspecified amount in Chopp, the grocery delivery company operating in Vietnam. Blockchain, AI and machine learning are sectors Vemanti says it focuses on.
Petroteq Energy, the Sherman Oaks California-based company developing blockchain technology for use in the oil and gas industry, said it arranged two debt for equity swaps worth about USD 400,000.
Late last month, the company said it was raising USD 1.8m from the sale of shares and warrants, and applied to uplist to the Nasdaq. Earlier in July Petroteq said it was raising USD 202,000 from 11 investors.
The World Bank, the Washington DC-based multilateral lender, said it mandated Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange what it says is the world’s first blockchain-based bond.
Initial coin offerings going more towards accredited investors, according to a Bloomberg report.
Other deals included Universal Protocol Platform, Genetic Technologies, and OMAAT
• Legal & Regulatory
South Korea’s recently established Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association is pushing the government to establish the island of Jeju as a cryptocurrency hub, according to a Cryptovest report. Crypto Currency News’ take is here. The Indian government and Tech Mahindra plan to develop a blockchain district in the city of Hyderabad, according to an Asia Times report.
• People
Coinbase, the San Francisco, California-based cryptocurrency trading platform, said it hired Amazon’s Tim Wagner as vice-president of engineering unit. Last week it hired Jeff Horowitz as chief compliance officer. Horowitz was head of compliance at Pershing, a unit of custody, clearing and settlement firm BNY Mellon.
Also this week, Facebook’s head of blockchain David Marcus resigned from the Coinbase board of directors as the social media giant deepens its engagement with the distributed ledger space, according to a Business Insider report. Coindesk’s take on the story is here.
KeyoCoin, the Los Angeles, California-based blockchain company focused on the travel industry, brought Shrei Kaiserman in as a bitcoin advisor as it moves closer to the launch a travel rewards token, according to a BlockTribune report. Kaiserman started an investment and advisory firm, Maco.la, that has focused on the blockchain industry.
SharesPost, the San Francisco, California-based trading platform, said it hired Nick Grabowsk as chief technology officer. Grabowski joins from Charles Schwab, where he was a vice-president of application architecture and R&D. He will work on integrating cryptocurrency and blockchain securities into the SharesPost platform, which started as a secondary trading venue for private technology firms.
SharePost raised USD 15 million in a Series C in June led by LUN Partners and Kenetic Capital.
Sidley Austin, the New York City-based law firm, said it hired Lilya Tessler to head its blockchain and fintech in the securities & derivatives enforcement and regulatory group. She was previously co-head of the blockchain and fintech group at McDermott, Will & Emery.
AlphaPoint, the New York City-based blockchain services firm, said it hired Srikant Manda as chief information security officer. He previously led security architecture and engineering teams at Juniper Networks and Fortinet.
The hire marks the fourth executive AlphaPoint has brought in since May. Last week it appointed Fisher Cataliotti partner Katya Fisher to the board of directors. The law firm is focused on blockchain, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence.
AlphaPoint, which is developing corporate auditing software, hired Kristin Boggiano as chief legal officer in July. She was most recently senior regulatory counsel at Guggenheim Asset Management.
In June, the company hired former Nasdaq executive Michael Schmidt as chief human resources officer and raised USD 15m in a Series A from Galaxy Digital Ventures. Ether Capital, the Toronto, Canada-based blockchain investment firm, said it’s forming an advisory board with Ethan Buchman, chief technology officer and co-founder at Cosmos Network, and Panashe Mahachi, co-founder of L4 and Scanate. Other hires included Grant Thornton, CENTRI, Blockchain Power Trust, DigitalTown, Hut 8 Mining, Data443 Risk Mitigation,
• Data
Cryptofinance Conference data shows traditional VCs edging more deeply into blockchain investing, according to a The Next Web report.
Trading, financial services and infrastructure accounted for the most venture capital investment in blockchain companies, at roughly 17% each, in the second quarter of this year, according to a report from Outlier Ventures.
submitted by eyeonai to u/eyeonai [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrency Market - The Biggest Trends to watch out for 2018-2025

New market research study provides an analysis and evaluation of the current and prospective profitability, liquidity and financial stability of Global Cryptocurrency Industry.
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency which operates on cryptographic techniques to complete safe transaction. Being decentralized with no governing body/central body involved in verifying transaction, secured protection and producing new currencies are projected to be the major reason for the market growth over the forecast period. Moreover, cryptocurrency’s community which include miners/stakers, developers, service providers, users etc. drive the governance of cryptocurrencies. The positive feedback loop has made the community more homogenous.
Globally, cryptocurreny has been selected as digital payment method for the future financial world. These convenient currencies are completely digital requiring online transaction unlike physical cash. Hustle free transaction and deduction in entire ownership cost are few key features propelling the industry.
Major drivers include authentication, ease of transaction, complete security, faster international transaction are expected to spur the market growth with steady performance. Moreover, the industry has not been confined with government rules, exchange rates, interest rates or international transaction fee, hence, making the currency more convenient for application.
The currencies can also be transferred digitally via devices such as smartphones, since they are completely unrestricted from any centralized bank/authorities. Vendors and consumers prefer virtual money for making payments, henceforth, creating new opportunities for the market growth.
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Tax-free & compliance-free transactions, lesser chances of identity theft & fraud and negligible fee charged for cryptocurreny transaction are few other key elements augmenting the industry growth over the forecast period. Moreover, lack of awareness among the people and stringent rules and regulations for application of robots in various countries is expected to restrain the market growth. The emerging industry is projected to grow over the forecast period with more public awareness and continuous increase of new market players with innovative product/services.
The market has been segmented into type of currency, mining types, and application. The type of currency segment includes Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and others. Mining type is segregated into solo and pool mining. The application segment includes banking, real estate, stock market and virtual currency. Other application for the market includes retail sector, gaming industry, education, logistics & transportation, BFSI, tourism sector, media and entertainment industry. BFSI is expected to acquire the major share followed by retail sector operating on cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency mining hardware includes Central Processing Unit (CPU) mining, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) mining, Field-Program Gate Array (FPGA) mining, and Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) mining. ASIC mining can calculate 10,000 times faster than conventional CPU mining.
Increasing acceptance and potential growth for this industry have attracted various small vendors globally for competing in the market. Apart from Bitcoin, Litcoin has also gained prominence in the market over last few years, there are plenty of vendors in the market namely as Litecoin, Namecoin, Novacoin, Peercoin, Ripple, Steller, Primecoin, Megacoin, and many others.
Geographically, the market is expended across North America (U.S., Mexico, and Canada), Europe (UK, France, Germany, and rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, Australia, and rest of Asia-Pacific), and MEA (Middle East, Latin America, and Africa). North America region dominates the market owing to the regulations offered by the government. Brazil and Canada are other major regions using cryptocurreny due to rules and regulations
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Key market players include Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Xilinx, Inc., NVIDIA Corporation, 21 Inc. AlphaPoint Corporation , Amazon.com, Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, Inc, BTL Group Ltd.(Blockchain Tech), BitGo, BitFury Group , Coinbase UK, Ltd. Coinsecure, Unocoin, Coinbase, Bitstamp Ltd., Zebpay,, Poloniex Inc., Bitfury Group Limited, Global Area Holding Inc., Digital Limited, IBM Corp, are the other niche players.
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submitted by mansee36 to u/mansee36 [link] [comments]

Bitcoin's Virginity, Benjamin's Big Short & the DRW Connection

Bitcoin -- The Virgin Sacrifice
TLDR: http://i.imgur.com/6pJyV3I.jpg
Up until now the Bitcoin markets & trading-sphere have largely been an outworld where legacy HFT firms could not dare enter -- they were instead left sidelined to peer through the murky ether at an untapped virgin goddess with her large bid/ask spreads and fragmentation. These aligning characteristics has caused a growing restlessness and salivating for the potential profits of "tapping that".
Enter the recent AlphaPoint integration into BitFinex's backend and one of the final pieces for institutional order flow to enter the Bitcoin trading ecosystem is near complete -- although this may not be in the form of hopium bitcoin believers perceive as "Wall Street getting in" -- more on that later
Here is the latest release:
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/04/28/729278/0/en/Bitfinex-Completes-AlphaPoint-Integration.html
TLDR: The most significant point I took away from this is the ability to interact with BFX through the FIX protocol -- "FIX has become the de facto messaging standard for pre-trade and trade communication in the global equity markets, and is expanding into the post-trade space to support straight through as well as continuing to expand into FX, fixed income and derivatives markets." FIX is essentially the backbone of modern financial interactions between broker-dealer and hedge fund communications to the exchanges. OKCoin has had FIX enabled for some time now and it was announced on our very own Google Hangout that a EURO based hedge fund was utilizing their platform -- enter the well known 20x OKC "woodchipper" and I will allow you to draw your own conclusions on that matter. (http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/2m04s4/okcoin_rep_says_a_new_hedge_fund_controlling_3/)
It has also become public that the specific HFT firms DRW Trading Group and Citadel have taken steps to enter the crypto space(http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-investor-involvement-could-boost-bitcoin-1428259814). This is not only apparent in DRW's presence at the latest Inside Bitcoins NYC conference speaking privately to both OKCoin and BFX but also their large winning of the DPR coins at the last auction via their subsidiary Cumberland Mining -- all signs pointing toward a large and active presence for DRW in the BTC markets.
Benjamin's Big Short & the DRW Connection
Another page out of the BTC trading folklore is the larger than life character known by the handle Benjamin(http://tradingview.comBenjamin%20/ ) on TradingView and sporting his Uncle Ben's Rice avatar -- many await his appearance like a Lock Ness Monster sighting in TradingView Chat or TeamSpeak. In early January his 3 person team borrowed 50,000 BTC to short bitcoin sub $200 -- he announced on TeamSpeak that his team was originally planning on borrowing these coins from a chinese connection but ended up going through a London hedge fund -- I give you DRW Trading Group's London office.
Many of the myoptic minded bitcoiners quibbled that why would a hedge fund allow someone to borrow coins for the purpose of shorting -- only to return them with significantly less value at a future date. Regardless if DRW was hedging off the risk before hand they would be charging a fair amount of interest fees on that amount of borrowed coins but the MOST interesting "coincidence" was the backdrop of the looming DPR auction. An auction in which Cumberland Mining scooped up an additional 27,000 BTC adding to their inventory and reducing their cost basis. The question remains if they are still looking to acquire in the next auction and I will stop short of speculating whether they are.
[I was actually debating whether to exclude this portion entirely as I thought it would distract from the real substance of what I was getting at knowing well that /bitcoinmarkets likes to devolve into /conspiracytheory very quickly. It is just really something to ponder of all the pieces involving DRW/Cumberland Mining]
The Changing Retail Trader Landscape
I do not want to go into the minutia of the Auction details itself and the Cumberland Mining mystery as I think the Coindesk article(http://www.coindesk.com/secretive-mining-firm-revealed-as-possible-us-marshals-auction-winne) does a great job of divining into topic for those interested. What I do want to focus on is the consequences to bitcoin retail trading going forward with these new players stepping in.
What these funds are doing is engaging in is mainly market making and advanced algorithmic trading where they simply see BTC as part of their asset inventory to feed off of the supple virgin order flow that has been inaccessible until now. BTC is a new speculative asset class and they see the price of BTC only as a cost basis and are not necessarily interested in its direct appreciation as an investment vehicle. With that said active retail traders may find that their strategies stop working and can & will be used against them. As Sang Lucci says pertaining to the listed space any retail strategy that can be algorithm-itised has been and will be soon enough into Bitcoin as well.
Largely, I believe that this is a necessarily step towards seeing the institutional (portfolio style) money come in that the bitcoin believers have been ranting about for so long. But to be perfectly clear these HFT/algo hedge funds make their money on the order flow not the fundamental appreciation of the underlying security -- however -- they may not be mutually exclusive but it is important to make this distinction as I believe it is often conflated and misrepresented as overtly bullish.
submitted by BTCVIX to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

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How's a GTX 1060 Hold Up For Mining These Days?

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