Blockchain, the provider of one of the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency wallets, announced the launch of its new, institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform on July 30, 2019.
Called The PIT, the platform aims to fill “the void for a reliable, fast, and liquid marketplace,” Blockchain said in a press release, and is targeted at both retail and institutional investors.
According to Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain, the company intends to address what he calls the current “outdated, broken” crypto exchange market, and deliver the performance that today’s traders demand, as quoted in the release.
“We set out to build something better, a product that would not only clear up these common headaches, but one that we would be excited to use. An exchange that would redefine speed, reliability, and liquidity for each and every crypto believer around the world,” Smith wrote in an accompanying blog post. “We’ve now created the world’s fastest crypto exchange, clocking in at 40 microseconds per trade, capable of executing millions of orders per second.”
SegWit Enabled, Noncustodial Wallets
According to Marco Santori, president and chief legal officer of Blockchain, one of The PIT’s keys features is Blockchain Connect, which allows Blockchain Wallet users to link and transfer crypto to and from their PIT trading account seamlessly.
“Blockchain Connect [is] a hyper-fast link to your self-custodied Blockchain wallet,” Santori wrote in a Twitter thread. “It addresses crypto’s greatest historical challenge: custody.”
Centralized crypto exchanges are prone to hacks, thefts, fraud and mismanagement, and while decentralized exchanges (DEXs) attempt to address this issue, today’s DEXs are slow, shallow and hard to use, Santori said.
With Blockchain Connect, users will no longer have to move their crypto back and forth between centralized exchanges and their self-custodied Blockchain Wallets.
“Blockchain Connect is a simple, one-click process to move your coins off-exchange and into your self-custodied wallet where only you know your private keys and the exchange can’t lose your crypto,” per Santori. “When you’re ready to trade, one click moves the coins back into The PIT.”
He also noted that The PIT supports SegWit, which may help with the speed and cost of transactions.
Architects and Specs
The PIT is the result of a year-long effort led by a team of veterans from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), TD Ameritrade, Google, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Interactive Brokers and Revolut.
Tom Haller, former chief software architect for trading systems at the NYSE, was put in charge of the development of the exchange’s matching engine, Mercury, “the fastest matching engine in crypto,” the company claims in another blog post.
In the press release, Haller says that unlike most cryptocurrency exchanges that run alongside slow consumer applications in the cloud, The PIT “leverages best practices from Wall Street to facilitate rapid, efficient, and high-quality trade execution at HFT [high-frequency trading] speeds.”
Blockchain said The PIT is launching with the support of a group of leading market makers to provide constant liquidity, and a global banking network to facilitate deposits, withdrawals and fiat-to-crypto trading in USD, EUR and GBP.
The exchange will begin with 26 trading pairs of fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto, with initial assets including BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, USDT and PAX. It plans to add more tokens, pairs and products soon.
Diana Ngo is a freelance fintech, blockchain news writer based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She has worked for French- and English-language online publications covering disruptive technologies and innovative startups that are reinventing the financial services industry. She studied economics and international business at IAE of Lyon, in France, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics from the Jean Moulin University Lyon 3.