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Hong Kong startup's LSE-powered crypto exchange promises to be really fast

Hong Kong startup's LSE-powered crypto exchange promises to be really fast

3 -min read
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3 -min read
Listen to this article

[HONG KONG] Atom Group, a Hong Kong-based startup, says it's about to make Bitcoin trading at least 10 times faster than transactions taking place on some of the largest digital-asset exchanges.

The new platform will use technology from London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSE) and allow retail and institutional investors to trade cryptocurrencies with ultra-low delays, Atom said in a statement. It's the first crypto exchange to deploy LSE's core matching engine, which is already used by bourses in places such as Singapore and Hong Kong, it said.

The platform, AAX, is capable of handling large volumes of orders with an average latency of under 500 microseconds, or one-two thousandth of a second, according to Atom. That compares to the lowest latency of five milliseconds - one two-hundredth of a second - that Binance promises to a small pool of clients trading its futures products.

AAX will list more than 50 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, as well as futures contracts for major tokens such as Bitcoin and Ether. It also provides an over-the-counter platform for users to convert fiats like the dollar and yuan into cryptos.

Atom, which struck the deal with LSE in January, is one of the latest examples of how crypto and traditional markets are increasingly integrated. The New York Stock Exchange's parent company, Intercontinental Exchange Inc, recently launched its Bakkt unit for trading Bitcoin futures. Nasdaq Inc offers its surveillance technology to crypto exchanges including Gemini.

"We've been looking for a good solution that will be suitable for a long-term cryptocurrency exchange that is adopted and welcomed by the institutional or mainstream finance industry," said Atom chief executive officer Thor Chan in a phone interview. "LSEG tech is one of the most recognised."

Atom is in discussions with LSE about a marketing partnership that lets AAX get the stock exchange's clients on board its platform, Mr Chan said.

Mr Chan co-founded Atom in March 2018 and recently took over the CEO position from fellow co-founder Peter Lin. The firm, which they self-funded, now has around 100 employees who are mostly based in Hong Kong with some in London.

AAX will focus on Asia markets to start with, and expand anywhere - except the US, which requires strict licensing, Mr Chan said. The goal is for AAX to be listed among the world's top 10 crypto exchange by trading volumes in the coming year, he said.

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