Crypto Exchange Bitstamp: Our New Matching Engine Will Be Up to 1,250 Times Faster

Siamak Masnavi

On 5 November 2018, cryptoasset exchange Bitstamp announced that it had partnered with Cinnober, a leading provider of trading and clearing technology, in order to replace its in-house developed matching engine with Cinnober’s "TRADExpress Trading System". The customized software "will be hosted and operated by Bitstamp."

As reported by CryptoGlobe, Bitstamp, which was founded in 2011 by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak, got acquired by European investment firm NXMH. In an article posted on its website, Bitstamp explained why it chose to partner with Cinnober:

"We chose Cinnober because of their proven track-record in worldwide financial marketplaces, their understanding of our vision and ability to work closely with us to customize the technology to meet our needs."

Stockholm-headquartered Cinnober was founded in 1998. Its customers include Australian Securities Exchange, Athens Stock Exchange, Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and London Stock Exchange.

David Osojnik, Bitstamp's Chief Technology Officer, says:

“While Bitstamp’s matching engine was already very good by crypto standards, this will put us in the same league as traditional exchanges with decades of experience. Our platform’s order matching speed is expected to become 1250x faster, while throughput will increase by 400x.”

The implementation will be done in several stages, with the first stage taking place in Q1 of 2019; the new matching engine should be fully integrated into Bitstamp by the end of Q2 2019.

According to Cinnober's press release, Peter Lenardos, the CEO of the Cinnober Group, stated:

“We are excited to announce this partnership with Bitstamp, facilitating continued success for their marketplace. Bitstamp is one of the world’s leading bitcoin exchanges and has a position of trust in the digital currency trading community. By upgrading their trading technology to further improve performance and stability as interest from investors and regulators grow, they demonstrate their firm commitment to providing a safe and reliable marketplace.”

As for Bitstamp's CEO (Nejc Kodrič), he said:

"This is a crucial step on our mission to bridge the gap between crypto and traditional finance."

Eric Wall, Cinnober's Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Lead, tweeted:

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Bitstamp

Trans-Fee-Mining Exchanges' Market Share in Decline - Report

  • TFM exchange volume down 53% in September
  • Only 32% of crypto trading volume is TFM volume

According to the latest exchange report from CryptoCompare (September), the trade volume on “trans-fee-mining” -- or transaction fee mining (TFM) -- exchanges dropped dramatically between August and September, more than halving. The overall proportion of transaction volume in the crypto markets comprised of TFM has thus declined significantly during this period.

Overall volume by fee-typeSource: CryptoCompare

Specifically, trade volume on TFM exchanges accounted for $174 billion during September, down from $375 billion during August. The more classical taker-fee exchanges, which charge a small percentage to execute a market order, typically outdo trans-fee exchanges even if only slightly. But during September, they exchanged $358 billion, up from $355 billion in August, far out-trading TFMs.

Transaction fee mining (or “mining”) occurs when users are rewarded, rather than taxed for executing orders on an exchange. Typically, exchanges allow free trades for users posting limit orders, which are orders set at a certain price. Otherwise, if users want to buy or sell immediately at whatever the current price is, they are usually charged a small fee. The rationale here is that exchanges want as many users as possible to post orders, so that order books are nice and thick (traders like liquidity).

Trouble With Trans-Fees

The TFM exchanges go one step further by rewarding all users just for trading on their exchanges, with in-house tokens. The idea is, again, to attract more traders and thus more liquidity.

In a sense, this model is the epitome of speculation, whereby users accrue large quantities of tokens betting that they will someday be worth more. Some have claimed, however, that this incentive encourages “wash trading,” an unwelcome form of market liquidity that is actually banned in traditional, regulated markets. This is when the same entity, or colluding entities, trade back and forth with each other.

In traditional markets, this is done in order to manipulate assets’ prices and set up exploitative trades. Here, the goal would be different but the effect is still undesirable: exchanges with high transaction volume but low order book depth may result in erratic price changes on cryptoassets. CryptoGlobe tackled the question last year of whether or not this sort of trading constitutes “fake volume.”

In CryptoCompare’s June 2019 Exchange Benchmark guide (pdf available here), exchanges employing the trans-mining model were generally classified as “Lower Quality,” despite volume on such exchanges rising as a percentage of the total market at the time. It seems that the trend may be shifting again.

Featured image via Pixabay.