ICE and Blockstream Crypto Feed to Work Together for Real-Time Exchange Data


The ICE’s Cryptocurrency Feed Is Working Side by Side With Blockstream

Back in march, the ICE Data Services decided to include virtual currencies in the data feed it has for traditional traders.

At the moment, the data is ‘top-of-book’ something like ‘level 1’ trades. Bids and offers from more than 20 cryptocurrency exchanges and venues. At the moment, they are working to add a ‘level 2’ information, that will be displaying a depth of the order book by venue.

This will be very positive because users will have the possibility to take a look at the market activity around a specific currency. The information has been released by Charif Lakchiri, head of connectivity and feeds for Asia Pacific working at ICE Data Services.

This information will give a clear information on how certain assets are being traded, their liquidity and build a strategy to execute the trade.

“Depth data provides additional information about the liquidity of the individual crypto exchanges, so a trader’s algo could find best execution,” commented Lakchiri during a conversation with DigFin.

Additionally, ICE partnered with Blockstream in order to improve this project. It will be possible for the ICE to commercialize a settlement network among different virtual currency exchanges. At the same time, ICE leverages Blockstream’s connectivity with these companies.

Moreover, Blockstream will also launch a network known as Liquid. This is a separated product to the data-feed that is related to the ICE, and the main intention is to join up liquidity across the crypto world. The data feed brings price discovery and transparency to brokers and market makers.

The Intercontinental Exchange acquired ICE Data Services back in 2015. For those who do not know, it sources real-time market data from over 500 exchanges all over the world, interdealer brokers and banks and then it sends the information for investors and other participants.

Back in December 2017, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) launched a Bitcoin futures, but the ICE wanted to get a piece of the crypto action. But it decided to differentiate from it and it turned to the data services business and created its consolidated feed.

How Does It Work?

In order for it to work, Blockstream standardizes the data received from the different venues available. After it, it sorts them according to their timestamps and converts all to FIX messages.

Lakchiri explained that traders can use this the information to find discrepancies, for example, among different crypto exchanges and platforms. The feed is also providing trading desks with reference rates that help them find better spreads, improve execution and more.

It is important to mention that the aggregate trades using Blockstream’s network is now reaching between 70% to 80% of global crypto-exchange average daily volumes.

What About The Future?

The company’s new product, Liquid, represents the commercialization of the sidechain concept, says Samson mow, chief strategy officer at Blockstream.

Blockchain side chains interact with Bitcoin’s main ledger, with a cryptographic one-to-one relationship. That means that there are more private transaction of cryptocurrency assets, and put the trades back on the Bitcoin’s Network.

Professional Bitcoin developers are working on the Liquid product, which is based on Bitcoin’s code. This is very important because of the experience they have about it.

The team is releasing an open-source code of its side chains and a software for Bitcoin micropayments. Furthermore, they are releasing plans for a satellite that would enhance blockchain connectivity all over the world.

Liquid will be connecting 15 different virtual currency exchanges and over-the-counter desks. This will be a key feature because it will enable them to transact value.

Ben Richman, director of data services at Blockstream, explained:

“There are APIs out there, but no standardization. It’s hard for institutional investors to price discovery.”

The clients using Liquid will be the same as the ones that use ICE Data Services. Due to the fact that Blockstream has good relationships with exchanges, data feeds will be easily sold to some clients.

In order to provide more transparency to cryptocurrency assets, it will be necessary to have better regulations and improved infrastructure in the market, and not just data feeds and side chain settlement software.

Another important development is related with the intention to tokenize fiat currencies such as the US Dollar. At the moment there are some currencies that are tethered to the most important currency in the world, but it was involved in many different controversies.

“We’re working on getting a trusted fiat currency on the blockchain, so transactions can happen in one place,” he explained. After it, institutions could feel more confident investing in the virtual currency world.

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