Blockchain, the renowned crypto wallet platform, says it has launched a “lightning-fast” cryptocurrency exchange which is aimed at providing the fastest trading experience.
The new exchange is named “The PIT,” and it was made possible by the efforts put in by several former executives of TD Ameritrade, Google, Goldman Sachs, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Peter Smith, Blockchain CEO, says that the matching engine of this new exchange “Mercury” is capable of executing buy/sell orders within “40 to 50 microseconds,” an “order of magnitude faster than other market players” such as Coinbase or Binance.
Blockchain, founded in 2011, started with block explorer — something that’s like a web browser but specifically for cryptocurrency data — and then developed digital wallets to help users store as well as exchange cryptocurrencies. Its name was derived from the blockchain network that records the Bitcoin transactions.
After becoming popular among the Bitcoin enthusiasts — the company claims almost 25% of activity that takes place on the Bitcoin network — Blockchain expects its exchange to help take things to the next level.
“There’s a huge audience of people who have not yet placed their first bitcoin trade,” Nicole Sherrod, Blockchain’s head of trading products, said in a recent interview with CNBC.
Sherrod earlier led TD Ameritrade’s active trading product team before her stint with Blockchain.
According to Sherrod, this new trading platform is going to offer investors a level of liquidity that is not there in the competing exchanges.
“In volatile markets in particular, speed is of utmost importance,” she said. “I would not feel comfortable delivering a platform to retail investors that puts them in a position where they couldn’t get in and out of a trade with lightning-fast speed.”
Cryptocurrencies are known for the volatile price swings. Late in 2017, Bitcoin skyrocketed to a record high of near-$20,000, prior to seeing a dip in 2018 going low down to $3,122. The popular digital currency is experiencing a rise this year, but it was last traded at $9502.
This recent rise of Bitcoin was partly due to Facebook’s plans of creating a cryptocurrency and analysts viewing it as an opportunity to bring much-required credibility to all cryptocurrencies. However, the Libra project of Facebook has received criticism by the regulators due to the risks involved for consumers.
A major hurdle that the industry has to overcome is to take institutional investors on board. It may be happening slowly, as Fidelity — a giant in financial services — signals it’s warming to the space. According to Sherrod, the new crypto exchange is offering liquidity through “institutional-level market makers.”
Blockchain’s exchange is expected to work in over 200 countries, and there will be 26 trading pairs on offer in the beginning. It will allow users to link the bank accounts with Blockchain while using USD, sterling and Euros for cryptocurrency trading.
They have raised more than $70 million from investors, including Richard Branson, GV, and Lakestar. Blockchain said it has accrued more than 40 million users as well who can transfer crypto to the exchange from their wallets.