Our Risk Cockpit has added enhanced dashboarding functionality. Risk Cockpit users have key data points that they want to integrate to their risk register and other contextual data. To bring this contextual data to life we have added the ability for users to create both pie and line charts with any data that is stored within KRM22’s Datahub. When users navigate to one of their dashboards and add a new widget they now have the option to add a datahub chart.

This will result in the below pop up appearing. In this pop-up users can:

1.     Select the data source for which they want to create a datahub widget for

2.     Select a virtual view (which we often use to provide historical views on underlying data)

3.     Group and do basic summarisations of data where users can move from data that does not work in visualisations to data that does

4.     Select the type of visualisation that they would like to use.

Other New Features released this month include:

Relationship Map Enhancements

– Ability to expand to parent items

– Ability to use on entities

Permission Editing Enhancements

If you wish to know more about how to get access to these new features, please get in touch with Niklas Wolfe (niklas@krm22.com) or Dan Carter (dan@krm22.com).

KRM22 is pleased to announce the release of its new Market Intelligence (MI) Dashboards for its Market Surveillance tool which will be available to all KRM22 Surveillance customers on the Global Risk Platform. The Dashboards are designed to present important surveillance KPIs in a single place, share insights with c-level executives in an effective way, and allow the management to make quick and data-driven decisions based on real-time information.

The information gained will empower senior compliance staff and managers to get a clearer picture of their surveillance operations, identify trends, determine what kind of KPI management improvements are needed, and generate actionable insights across their surveillance program. We have prepared 2 standard management dashboard templates that can be used to further develop more personalized dashboards suited to our client’s specific business needs.

The Alerts Dashboard gives an overview of alerts raised in the last business day broken down by Alert type (Insider Trading, spoofing etc) in a pie-chart alongside a trending line chart for preceding week which quickly allows customers to capture any suspicious trends arising in trading behaviour. Users can also drill down into alerts to identify the players that triggered them and the instruments they triggered on.

The Participant Dashboard gives a high-level summary of the alert activity of market participants including Traders, Accounts, Clients and others. A trending line chart of your top 10 Accounts/Traders can quickly help identify consistent suspicious behavior by certain individuals and help management keep a keener eye on such individuals.

We believe that these dashboards, can not only help catch market abuse, but also help prevent it by picking up on unusual patterns. Putting clear, actionable information into the hands of senior compliance staff and management.

If you wish to know more about how to get access to these dashboards, please get in touch with Rishav Bose (rishav@krm22.com) or Dan Carter (dan@krm22.com).

Bitstamp logo

Bitstamp was founded in 2011 and is now the longest-running Crypto Exchange in the world. Being a pioneer in its field it has helped shape the technical and security standards for the industry.

As Market Surveillance Officer, Colin Scanes is an expert on market microstructure across digital assets, equities, futures, options and FX. He has spent over 20 years working on the cutting edge of financial technology, most recently moving into Crypto. Bitstamp uses KRM22 Market Surveillance to monitor for and prevent market abuse across all of its trading activity. Being one of the first crypto exchanges to implement an institutional grade surveillance platform, Bitstamp demonstrated its on-going commitment to ensuring a fair and orderly market for its customers, and its desire to see the industry mature to where it is today.

We sat down with Colin to gain a deeper insight into the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape around digital assets and how Bitstamp intends to balance a compliance first culture with its aggressive plans for growth.

Thank you for talking with us today. Let’s start with a brief introduction – please tell us about how you came to join Bitstamp?

Having worked in institutional brokerage for 18 years at Bloomberg Tradebook, focused principally on Equities but also Futures, Options and FX, I found I had developed some useful skills. I knew my way around central limit order books and was pretty confident I knew what worked well when it came to execution algorithms and Pairs Trading. In seeking to get best execution for our clients we often strayed close to what would now be frowned upon by Regulators. In Pairs trading particularly, because you often try to post in the Order Book of the least liquid side of the pair and then act as a taker of the more liquid side if you get hit or lifted on your posted order, you end up sending a lot of orders and cancelling them. We were trying to trade a spread so every time the liquid market moved, we had to re price our posted order in the Book. This got us into trouble with the Exchange for the sheer number of cancel/replace messages we were sending, and we realised that although our intentions were honourable as we were just trying to trade a spread, trading behaviour can appear suspicious when viewed out of context. We throttled back the number of times our Pairs algorithm re-priced and got back in the good books of the Exchange.

This experience led me from working on the execution side of algorithms to the monitoring of their performance and onto working with regulators using software to detect manipulative trading practices on European Equities Exchanges.

An old friend of mine introduced me to crypto and then to Bitstamp where they were at the time in the process of setting up a Market Surveillance function. I was lucky enough to be considered for a role and having joined the company have had one of the most enjoyable, fascinating episodes of my career to date.

The fundamental principles of trade surveillance are essentially the same for both traditional and digital assets. Beyond that, can you explain the key differences that may arise and what gaps might need to be bridged when thinking about a crypto exchange’s surveillance strategy?

After you get through some of the easier problems to solve, like fractional order sizes and prices out to 8 decimal places not playing well in your database, some other differences start to be revealed. 24/7 Exchanges don’t have open and close periods, but the Exchange does need down time to run upgrades etc, so the impact of scheduled maintenance has to be carefully considered. Markets can run up when you are closed but everyone else is still open, so you have to manage your reopening with care, as liquidity is thinnest as your clients re-engage with your Order book.

Although Bitstamp is currently purely a Spot Exchange with no derivatives or leveraged trading, we do have to be aware of the very many ways that participants can get exposure to crypto in regulated and unregulated venues and so have reason to try to impact our price and volume. The fungible, global nature of crypto means that we have to be aware that threats exist anywhere in the world at any time.

Bitstamp is one of five Exchanges whose prices are used in multiple Indices that underlie Crypto Futures, Options, Perpetuals and Funds. We need to share information with other venues and Index providers whilst maintaining the anonymity of our Exchange participants. We often have no common regulator to whom we can funnel information who has jurisdiction to act across multiple venues, so we need to be aware and help each other protect crypto trading from abuse.

What are the biggest Regulatory challenges facing Crypto Exchanges today, and how does it affect expansion into new markets and jurisdictions?

As an asset class crypto is both varied in type whilst being accessible globally by all. The democratising of trading, giving retail clients access to orderbooks, a view of depth and advanced order types, as well as API connectivity means Regulators have to focus on a variety of actors. In the traditional world their focus is often on intermediaries such a Brokers and FCMs who themselves play a role in detecting and constraining bad actors and preventing their manipulative activity reaching the Exchange. Having everyone, retail and institutional alike, able to effectively self-broker, creates new challenges.

The rules for trading crypto and hopefully soon back applied to traditional markets, need to both protect the investor whilst not denying them the access to investment products and methods of trading that have been the preserve of institutional market participants only.

The challenge for Exchanges is often trying to understand the challenge for regulators and then good planning to make sure, however the Regulators choose to address those challenges, the Exchange is prepared. This will vary according to jurisdiction but in large part if you are passionate about doing the right thing for your clients, as we at Bitstamp are, you won’t stray far from any regulator’s requirements.

There is a lot of discussion about the use of artificial intelligence within compliance programs. What’s your view of incorporating machine learning into your operations and do you think rules-based systems will remain a core part of your strategy?

For me, rules-based systems will continue to maintain primacy. AI can play a part in helping with refinement of parameters empirically over time, but the fundamental constructs of market abuse and manipulation have to remain explicit and completely understood by those charged with monitoring them.

Engagement with Regulators is done by people in the Market Surveillance Department not machines. They have to fully understand what they are looking for, why they are looking for it and explain in detail when they see it happen. Surveillance Systems are a Surveillance Officer’s tools of the trade. They cannot reliably replace the human thought process or the ability to reframe perspective and apply disparate mitigating factors. Market Surveillance tools shine a light on specific suspicious activity, AI can make that light brighter but ultimately a human has to see, understand and act on what has been illuminated.

Finally, where do you see the biggest growth for the Crypto Industry in the next 5 years, and how does Bitstamp plan to stay on top of the wave?

It’s a question almost as difficult as predicting what the price of Bitcoin will bein 5 years. Things move so rapidly in crypto, new things emerge, become enormous in a short space of time and sometimes disappear from relevance even quicker. Lessons are learned from the embers of failed projects and quickly incorporated into the collective body of knowledge.

The key to Bitstamp continuing to prosper is how well we remember the quote, often attributed to Charles Darwin, about it not being “the strongest or the most intelligent that survives but those most adaptable to change”. We were the first Crypto Exchange in Europe back in 2011, crypto and Bitstamp have adapted and changed an awful lot since then, but our core philosophy has remained. We will always be a trusted partner and good actor in the space. It will be exciting to see our next adaptation!

Extreme volatility and Bitcoin price points that dropped below “safe” support level of $20,000 last week made headlines around the world.  But wild price swings are nothing new in the crypto world, and whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, digital assets can no longer be ignored.

In a report published earlier this year by crypto compare, crypto derivatives volumes reached an all-time high of close to $3 trillion dollars, accounting for more than 60 per cent of trading in all cryptocurrencies. This is no surprise, given the use of derivatives to protect against market uncertainty, of which there is a lot right now. Much of the activity is dominated by retail investors, done on exchanges in jurisdictions with little or no regulatory oversight; however institutional investors have been driving the trading of crypto futures contracts on regulated exchanges like the CME to record highs.

Other traditional exchanges have followed in CMEs footsteps, with SIX Exchange and Eurex now offering various crypto derivative products in a push to be a part of the lucrative Crypto Trading market. Similarly, crypto exchanges are expanding into the traditional derivatives space, with growing demand for leveraged products from their retail investors, and with desire to attract more professional investors.

But can traditional and crypto firms work side by side? Often these firms have considered themselves to occupy opposite ends of the financial market’s spectrum. However, as both sides look to attract new business and remain competitive, they are now finding themselves conforming to the same frameworks and policies, adopting the same innovative technologies, and managing the same risks in rapidly evolving markets.

But while they begin to converge to a similar end point, the challenges each face along the way are quite different. Traditional capital markets firms need to evolve their current infrastructure to accommodate this new asset class a lot more rapidly than they are used to, while Crypto firms suddenly find themselves operating under regulatory scrutiny they were previously not used to, with a need to acquire the knowledge to support traditional asset classes and products.

So how do firms keep up? Partnership is key. New deals or partnerships that blur the lines between traditional and crypto markets have been growing steadily over the last few years. In recent months we have seen several high-profile crypto exchanges acquire smaller traditional operations to push into conventional derivatives markets. This has allowed them to fast track their regulatory status in markets like the US, by acquiring regulated platforms that already offer futures and options to their clients. Similarly, there has been a wave of partnerships that have allowed traditional capital markets firms to quickly adopt the technology and infrastructure required to support crypto trading.

At KRM22 we are an experienced risk technology company with considerable crypto experience.  We have worked with the first movers in the digital asset industry to help support their risk and compliance needs.

While this new asset class has its own nuances, it leverages a host of similar models and processes (central order books, prime-brokerage style offerings, omnibus accounts, market-making) that are familiar to all capital markets players. KRM22 is in a prime position to embrace this new evolution with our market, compliance, operational and enterprise risk offerings. As crypto currencies become more salient to the financial system, we are defining the best practice of leveraging, adopting and transforming traditional risk management tools towards this market.

Here at KRM22, we see ourselves as part of a local and global community. We recognise that being a modern business means taking responsibility for the world we live in, and with this in mind, we are celebrating World Environment Day this Sunday, June 5th.

The environment is not something we can only address once a year, it needs to be part of the DNA of society, be that as individuals, communities, companies, or governments. We all have a responsibility to keep this one planet as cool as we can, and we can all contribute to however small the amount. As such, each company needs to have an ESG framework, and this blog is an insight into ours.

Why Do We Need ESG?

A good ESG framework is not a predefined set of tick boxes. It is a methodology for assessing a company’s attitudes towards environmental, social and governance factors. Anybody should be able to look at the framework and get an insight into the company’s core culture and values. In an increasingly value driven world, this is an indicator to investors, employees, and customers as to who they want to work with. Once defined, the model allows the relatively simple assessment of three key questions about any organisations:

1.    Is the model sustainable?

2.    How are operations managed to avoid negative impacts?

3.    Is the company ethical and trustworthy?

When looked at through these lenses, companies avoid “greenwashing” and develop policies that reflect how they do business.

Establishing the framework

With any large initiative, knowing where to start is often the most daunting part. The UN defines 17 sustainable development goals and each of these has multiple targets. Trying to contribute to every single one of them is beyond almost all organisations. So, how do you eat the elephant? One bite at a time.

At KRM22, we are taking a five-step approach to ESG.

1.   Assess what is important to our stakeholders

We look at all of our stakeholders and establish what they care about. Our customers and suppliers are looking for ethical, sustainable firms run according to modern governance principles. This second theme is echoed by our investors as a priority. Meanwhile, our team and prospective employees want to work with a diverse group and need to have job mobility and security. Finally the wider community wants to see we are protecting jobs and the environment.

2.    Focus on what is essential

Once we establish what is important, we filter these down into areas we can have the most impact on. KRM22 is a young fintech, and along with other similar companies we are not a major consumer of natural capital. We can exert most influence by choosing ethical suppliers who are not responsible for mining or pollution. Similarly, we use little water, and since the pandemic have not been flying. Perhaps our biggest impact is how our team travel to work, and to support that we promote active travel with schemes such as bike to work.

3.    Highlight how the disclosures meet the SDGs

The simplest part of the framework is to tie the material elements into the Sustainable Development Goals. Eliminating those which the company can only have a minor effect on makes the whole programme more understandable. KRM22 has identified five SDGs to focus on:

1.     Good Health and Well being

2.     Gender Equality

3.     Decent work and economic growth

4.     Reduced Inequalities

5.     Sustainable cities and communities

These are the areas we can have the most impact in, and they will be different for each company.

4.    Collate the data

No organization can run on feel alone, data increasingly backs every decision. We have started to leverage our own Risk Cockpit to measure our current levels foreach of our targets. This helps us to identify initiatives to undertake to meet our objectives, and to tie them into our company strategy. The Risk Cockpit allows each initiative to have a number of risks and measures associated with it, and to track historic performance against those metrics. If you wish to find out more about how the risk cockpit can help you manage your ESG programme, please contact Andrew Smart

5.   Establish the annual cadence

Perhaps the most important part of any ESG framework is to recognise there is no end state. Sustainability is, by nature, an ongoing process. Getting buy-in from the whole organisation to be constantly testing, reviewing and adjusting the elements is the only way to ensure that the company is on a journey.

Opening the Conversation

We recognise that the changes required cannot be undertaken by one organisation alone. If you have any thoughts as to how we can work together for the benefit of the environment, contact us via LinkedIn, our website, or our sales representatives.  www.krm22.com