31 Year Old Former Virtu Trader Setting Up New Exchange

Virtu

OK, has everyone heard of Michael Oved? Yes? No? For those of you who know of Michael, here is a great read. For those who don’t know Michael its a MUST read. Seems Michael was instrumental in making Virtu Financial super profitable in electronic market making. Now he has co-founded AirSwap which he says will revolutionize the way digital currency exchanges work. AWESOME! The digital exchange world is growing up.
(Bill Taylor/CEO)

“Michael Oved helped Virtu Financial Inc. become the most consistently profitable market maker in the history of electronic trading. Now he has his sights set on revolutionizing how digital currency exchanges operate.

The new company he cofounded, AirSwap, sounds like a contradiction in terms: A decentralized exchange. Made possible by the nascent technology of the ethereum blockchain, there’s no central authority around which buyers and sellers gather. Instead, a computer program known as a smart contract lets investors find each other anywhere in the world to trade cryptocurrencies. There are no user accounts and identities are hidden as trading is solely on a peer-to-peer basis.

“What’s novel about that is there’s no New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq in the middle, setting rules,” said Richard Johnson, a market-structure analyst at Greenwich Associates who specializes in blockchain, a system of networked computers that verify transactions in minutes rather than days as in the current banking system and make digital currencies such as bitcoin possible.

“That’s cool, we haven’t seen that before.  The idea goes to the heart of what many blockchain supporters want to accomplish: eliminating middlemen in industries from finance to real estate to health care. It also makes digital currencies immune to recent efforts to control their trading by governments such as China, which is closing cryptocurrency exchanges within its borders.

“It’s impossible to shut down, and you don’t even need an account,” Oved said. “People won’t even know Chinese traders are on the system.”

AirSwap wants to attract large institutional traders such as DRW Holdings LLC and DV Chain to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on an exchange. Oved’s target is the estimated 60 percent to 80 percent of cryptocurrency trading that now occurs in the over-the-counter market. (He said AirSwap doesn’t have a connection to DRW, DV Chain or any other big traders.) Many of those firms have been wary of the inadequate financial market infrastructure and basic oversight of existing exchanges for digital currencies

Full Story at Bloomberg