Articles related to quantitative trading and software tools aiding automated investment operations.

Machine Learning in Finance

It’s known that almost all industries are influenced or about to be influenced by the appliance of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps operational efficiency is what makes Artificial Intelligence so attractive for business owners across different sectors. Operational efficiency could lead to the reduction of costs, increased performance, speed up some processes or increase the quality of services.

In this article, we would like to cover the appliance of Machine Learning across the financial industry by presenting interesting use cases and examples to structure this content. 

Artificial Intelligence is assisting financial institutions to drive new efficiencies and deliver new kinds of value. Autonomous Research predicts that Artificial Intelligence will represent $1 trillion in projected cost savings for the banking and financial services industry. By 2030, traditional financial institutions will save 22% of costs.

Let’s get something straight here and let’s define Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence. These two terms are always used side by side of each other, but they are different. With different, we mean that Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence refers to create intelligent machines. Machine Learning refers to a system that can learn from experience. In this article, we may mention both but with the given simplistic definition you already know what we are referring to.

Machine Learning layers

Source

 

 

Challenges of applying Artificial Intelligence in finance

Before jumping into the use cases that we have gathered for this article, let’s take a look at the most common challenges of applying Artificial Intelligence in firms within the financial industry. 

As previously mentioned costs and budgeting required to automate some of the processes in finance could be one of the main important challenges financial firms face. Additionally, regulatory requirements sometimes could be also a burden. They are complex frameworks and the required research phase could be time-consuming and hiring regulatory consultants could be costly.

Perhaps another challenge these firms face is the lack of structured or sufficient data to process and train their data and test if models are efficient enough. Adding to that lack of in-house skills and knowledge as well as missing the development environment (lab) that data scientists can join and apply approaches of AI. 

Another challenge could also come from market maturity and retail readiness to use Artificial Intelligence-powered tools.  

Case 1. Fraud detection 

One of the very important appliances of Machine Learning in finance is fraud detection. With the advent of instant payment and global transfer services, the volume of payments and transfers has dramatically increased. So is a notable amount of transfers that aren’t with good intentions including money laundering. The estimated amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2-5% of global GDP, or $800 billion to $2trillion.  

An advantage that Machine Learning has brought to fraud detection is the amount of data that can be processed by machines with minimum or zero human intervention. The appliance comes with more accuracy in the detection of fraudulent activities. 

For instance, the credit card fraud detection problem includes modeling past credit card transactions with the knowledge of the ones that turned out to be a fraud. This model is then used to identify whether a new transaction is fraudulent or not. The aim here is to detect fraudulent transactions while minimizing incorrect fraud classifications. Anomaly detection is a commonly used model for the credit card fraud detection problem, this is a technique used to identify unusual patterns that do not conform to expected behavior, called outliers. Anomaly detection or pattern recognition algorithms start with creating processes that find the hidden correlation between each user behavior and classify the likelihood of fraudulent activity.  

Discovering hidden and indirect correlations can be named as advantages that Machine Learning based algorithms bring compare to basic Rule-based fraud detection algorithms. Machine Learning-based algorithms also reduce the number of verification measures since the intelligent algorithms fit with the behavior analytics of users. A more automated approach to detection of fraud is also another asset for Fraud Detection algorithms applied by Machine Learning since they require less manual work to enumerate all possible detection rules. 

Case 2. Know Your Customer (KYC)

Improving the KYC process is one of the operational efficiency of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that have been brought to the financial and banking industry. The appliance of Machine Learning on the KYC process is mostly implemented by traditional banks and neobanks. The main reason is the continuous evolvement of requirements from regulators. The due diligence required on customer registration that is required by regulators in banking is broad and complex. Machine Learning due diligence modules can be utilized to create robust automation and improve the process of KYC for institutions that are aiming to have an efficient retail onboarding. This will decrease the human intervention needed during the onboarding process and increases the accuracy as well as reducing the costs. 

Again neobanks are streamlining the KYC process with enhanced user interface and user experience. Simplifying and automating the KYC process can reduce the cost of onboarding and customer application process by 40% (source Thomson Reuters). 

One of Machine learning techniques used in the KYC process is the Facial Similarity check, which is to verify that the face in the picture is the same with that on the submitted document provided e.g. Identity Card. The customer will only be verified and pass the KYC process if the results of both Document and Facial Similarity checks are ‘clear’. If the result of any check is not ‘clear’, the customer has to submit all the photos again.

Case 3. Algorithmic Trading

The algorithmic trading with a technological infrastructure brought many advantages to the trading world e.g. the ability to trade in under a millisecond with the best prices available or the ability to simultaneously monitor and trade across multiple exchanges, and all with reducing the human error from trading. Algorithmic trading constitutes 50-70% of the equity market trades and 60% of futures trades in developed markets. 

Many hedge funds started to utilize Artificial Intelligence within the algorithmic trading world. It’s understandable that most of them do not disclose the details and mechanism of their approaches in applying Artificial Intelligence in their trading algorithms, but it’s understood that they use methods of Machine Learning and Deep Learning. There is also a wide appliance of sentiment analysis on the market in which the result can be used in trading. The main objective of applying sentiment algorithms is to obtain knowledge about the psychology of the market. 

Machine Learning is assisting the trading industry in order to leverage the market with fundamental and alternative data in order to research alpha factors. Supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning models are being utilized to enhance the processing of algorithmic trading strategies. Methods can be applied to optimize portfolio risk calculations and further improve the performance of the portfolios. 

Deep Learning models also have been widely applied in trading. Deep learning models with multiple layers have shown as a promising architecture that can be more suitable for predicting financial time series data. In a tested practice, the algorithm trains 5-layer Deep Learning Network on high-frequency data of Apple’s stock price, and their trading strategy based on the Deep Learning produces 81% successful trade and a 66% of directional accuracy.

Case 4. Chatbots and customer support

Reducing customer churn is perhaps one of the main criteria of financial institutions and banks. Generally, customers and especially millennials ones for neobanks do care about the customer service and support they receive. Chatbots and instant messaging apps could potentially increase communication quality between business and its customers. According to research by Juniper by the year 2023, the use of chatbots can reduce the operational costs for banking, retail, and healthcare business sector by $11 billion. 

The advantages that chatbots can bring to the industry are definitely increasing customer satisfaction and customer engagement rates. The speed of action and processing of many inquiries and threads at the same time could also be mentioned as a big advantage of chatbots and messaging systems. 

There are four types that Chatbots could be classified. Goal-based Chatbots, are designed for a particular task and set up to have a short conversation in order to complete a task given to them by a user. Perhaps this is the most common Chatbot. Goal-based Chatbots are deployed on websites to help visitors to answer their questions during their visit. 

The second type is knowledge-based Chatbots, these Chatbots use the underlying data sources or the amount of data they are trained on. Such data sources could be open-domain or cloud domain data. Usually, Knowledge-based Chatbots answer questions by providing the data and source of that data. 

The third category of Chatbots is Serviced-based. Such Chatbots are classified based on facilities provided to the customer. It could be personal or commercial information. Users of such Chatbots could place an order of a commercial good via the Chatbot. 

The fourth category is Response-generated Chatbots. Response Generated-based chatbots are developed based on what action they perform in response generation. The response models take input and output in natural language text. The dialogue manager is responsible for combining response models together. To generate a response, the dialogue manager follows three steps.

Types-of-chatbots

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Case 5. Automated Wealth Management with Robo Advisors

Wealth management is an industry and operation costs are a large burden for some of the firms. As wealth being transferred from one generation to a more tech-savvy one and considering the millennials are in their prime earning and spending years, the presence of automated and entirely digital investment advice tools can be expected. It’s expected that by the year 2022 the Robo Advisors revenue might reach 25 billion that is up from $1.7 billion from 2017, considering these tools are relatively cheaper to how the investment advice is being delivered traditionally, from 3% to 5% of assets managed to digital ones with 0.25% to 0.75%. 

There are practiced used cases where the processes of asset allocation modeling, portfolio construction, and optimization, as well as a portfolio recommendation systems, were bundled with Machine Learning techniques in order to enhance the current approaches. 

One example is the portfolio recommendation system that was designed to be implemented on top of a Robo Advisor and be utilized with the mean-variance optimization method was implemented using weighted linear regression. The model shows that adding a portfolio layer on top of the stock regression results is increasing the success rate (profit accuracy) up to 86.69% when success is calculated by the profitability of the recommendations. Moreover, it helps to reduce the risk by distributing the budget over a set of stocks and tries to minimize the reflection of the regression errors to the profit.

Robo Advisors come with many notable advantages, such a complete, online and real-time reporting dashboard to customers which can be checked on the go with mobile apps and dashboards. 

As previously mentioned they reduce the costs of operations for firms providing investment advice service and the fees that are clients charged. Robo Advisors are fully digital and they have online onboarding for clients which leads to expansion of client base for firms.

When can you apply AI (is your firm ready?)

There are few aspects to which we could measure the readiness of a firm to utilize Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning into their processes. A solid technological infrastructure is the most important element. An infrastructure that is put together to manage the whole lifecycle of data, from getting to cleaning to processing and feeding algorithms. The availability of the data can not be stressed more. 

The regulatory compliance as mentioned in some of the cases above e.g. in KYC processes is a crucial process to be taken care of before applying Artificial Intelligence into processes. Audit trails, transparency, result supervision, and reporting mechanisms are some of the high-level requirements from financial authorities. 

Talents as resources from data engineers to data scientists specialized and familiar with financial processes is another important criteria before kick-starting with Artificial Intelligence projects. Their ability to understand the sector and ways to improve it should be taken into account in their hiring process. Eventually, they need to start training the existing data with an accuracy level as a requirement for the models used. 

How to start your machine learning project?

  • Start with a question 

Before anything starts you need to start with the question, what is it that we want to improve with our Machine Learning algorithms? This should specify and clarify the objective of the project. 

  • Understand your data

Not every question can be answered with any data. You need to have the right data for the right question. This is practiced by receiving, cleaning and processing data. Running exploratory analysis on your data and making sense of some of the summaries obtained could be the initial stage to which you will know that if your data has the potential to answer your questions. 

  • Modeling

Once you found clues in your data associated with your question it’s time to try to write algorithms to find patterns that leads to successful or unsuccessful journeys. Usually, data scientists do this by fitting the most suitable Machine Learning models into the data, find correlative and statistically significant patterns and try to test the accuracy. 

  • Evaluation

In the modeling section, we talked about training your data and once we have found the best models that suit the question, the answer and the data and now its time to evaluate, in other words, test your models. Data scientists will keep on testing the models with new data to see if their models do not only work for one dataset. 

  • Deployment

Once the fitting algorithms are certain that works, it’s time to deploy. Generally, this means deploying a code representation of the model into an operating system to score or categorize new unseen data as it arises and to create a mechanism for the use of that new information in the solution of the original business problem.  Importantly, the code representation must also include all the data preparation steps leading up to modeling so that the model will treat new raw data in the same manner as during model development.

 

3Commas – A technical review

As we know, over the past several years, we have witnessed a real computer revolution. We have practically all available solutions replacing us with computers. These are already such advanced technologies that are already able to make a decision for us, and what’s more, they do it faster and more efficiently than man. It is particularly visible in trading, where several years ago all decisions were made by man. Now Traders are equipped in computer programs who are able to do all the work. However, the market is flooding with information on how many new programmes have been hiring by financial institutions recently. But what about us with retail traders? How should we deal with this situation? It remains for us either programming learning or uses trading bots (free/paid) from the Internet. There are really many of them when you looking for information on the web. That’s why I decided to check 3Commas in this short article. One of many users and additionally paid TradingBots. Let’s have a look at one of them – 3Commas. They were started in 2014, there are over 120,000 users currently being served with transaction volume in the tune of $60 million being handled every day, supported 23 exchanges- data from 3Commas website. You can trade on all exchanges from one single interface from 3commas’ window. Up to date, they support Bittrex, Bitfinex, Binance, KuCoin and Poloniex, Bitstamp, HitBTC, Cex, GDAX, OKEX, Huobi, YOBIT.

 

How well do 3commas trading bots work?

 

On the website, we can read that: “3commas is a cryptocurrency trading bot that provides a wide range of tools and services for users to choose from. It performs real-time market analysis using powerful algorithms for getting you the best trades possible”. Sounds interesting? Is this the right place to find a solution for retail traders? 3Commas offer a few types of trading bots: Simple, Composite, Short, Composite short. You can choose which one you want it depends on your individual approach to the market. At the moment available is almost 90 trading bots. Does quantity mean quality?       

Browsing information about bots, I wonder why the best strategies work only 30 days. How to trust this kind of bots with short history (just 30 days history)? How do I find out how it behaves with high market volatility? I don’t know. I couldn’t find this kind of information on the 3Commas website. For institutional investors or professional retail investors, this kind of question is fundamental. If you invest money you should know how much you can earn at what possibility of loss. That’s why it’s better for your wallet, to wait for a strategy with a long history to know what to expect.

Can I make a profit on real market with 3Commas?

 

Let’s see, how 3commas trading bots work. As a retail trader, I would like to try one of these 90 strategies. I choose for my example one “Simple Long Strategy” and I opened Paper Account. Pairs: USD_BTC, USDT_LINK, USD_LTC. Target profit 5%. On 3Commas website we can read the short description: “Simple Long Strategy gives you the possibility to make price increases”- information from 3Commas website. It looks simple to buy a lower price and sell higher price. The bot opens new deal according to one of the conditions that are available for selection during the creation. After that, it immediately puts a coin for sale. If the price rises and the order gets filled, the profit goal is achieved. In case of a price fall, the bot places safety orders below the purchase price every X%. Every filled safety order is averaging the buy price, and it makes possible to move the TakeProfit target lower and close the deal without losing profits in the first price bounce. 

My strategy has been worked for 14 days. Completed 15 orders and give me $0.16 profit ($10.000 balance). Strategy performance results and statistics below.  

3comma trading list

3comma statistics technical review

 

3 comma trading view technical review

 

Whether the profit is big or small I leave the answer to you. The rate of return is positive (+0,16$), therefore we should be satisfied (really  ?). My “New Bot” did not lose money. Of course, everything was happening on the real market but money was virtual. You should also know that is possible to change strategies parameters at any time and can adapt it to your current needs but I did not do that because left my 100% decisions to the bot. 

The main purpose of trading bots is to automate things which are either too complex, time-consuming, or difficult for users to carry out manually. Good trading bots can save a trader time and money by collecting data faster, placing orders faster and calculating next moves faster. In my case, I just set the parameters and Trading Bot did the rest but is it enough to tell that the strategy is good? Please rate it yourself.  Meanwhile on the market situation looks very interesting for my example (charts below). The market moved up, how I expected. As you can see from the charts below I could earn more money in this period of time. 

3comma trading review

3comma tradingview

You also need to know that 3Commas is not for free. They have four subscription plans: Junior from €0 (your total balance across all accounts is $750 and no bots), Starter €24 (without limits for trading, no bots), Advanced €41 (Simple bots), Pro €84 (Simple, Composite Bots). The interesting thing is that you don’t know how much you can earn but you immediately know how much you have to pay!! Profits are potential but costs are fixed.

How safe is 3Commas?

3Commas don’t go into too many details regarding the security protocols that they choose to employ, however, it’s worth remembering that you don’t actually hold any funds on the platform and your trading bots are not able to make withdrawals from your linked accounts.

Similar to other trading bot platforms, your trading bots connect with your exchange accounts via API and then proceed to carry out automated trades on your linked exchanges. While this process takes place, users aren’t required to make any cash/crypto transfers to external accounts and simply need to provide their API keys which are generated by their exchanges.

These keys provide the trading bots with restricted access to user accounts strictly to conduct trades and do not grant the bots with any withdrawal rights. This also means that if your account becomes compromised, and some hackers were able to gain control of your trading activity, they still wouldn’t be able to directly access your exchange accounts in order to make withdrawals. However, the standard personal security rules of crypto still apply, as they could still have a detrimental effect on the funds held in your exchange accounts. Hackers have been known to obtain API access to exchange accounts, and commander the bots to purchase high quantities of low-value coins that the hackers have already previously purchased. After artificially inflating both the demand and price of said coins, the hackers then sell off their personal holdings for a profit, leaving the compromised account owners holding funds in the low-value coins.

 

3Commas has made a positive impression. It is also worth mentioning about Key Features:

  1. Technology – Automated trading takes place via API integration with cryptocurrency exchanges and the bot works around the clock with any device and users can access their trading dashboard on desktop and laptop computers. The team have also developed mobile apps for both Android and iOS
  2. Tools – The platform provides a good range of trading tools and in addition to the automated bots and performance analytics, users are able to create, analyze and back-test crypto portfolios and monitor the best performing portfolios created by other users. In addition, users can engage in social trading and follow and copy the actions of other successful traders.
  3. Functionality- 3Commas utilises a web-based platform, and features an easy to use and intuitive user interface that includes a wide range of functions and detailed analytics. Users can make use of short, simple, composite, and composite short bots, and set stop loss and take profit targets, as well as customise their own trading strategies.

Strong points of 3 Commas Bot Platform

  1. Emotionless, fact-based trades make sure that decisions taken are taken entirely based on the ideal conditions with little room for doubt, instinct, and human error. This reduces the intensity of the decision-making process and helps to take logical and high-profit decisions.
  2. Good exchange connections.
  3. The Smart Trading option that makes use of ‘trailing take profit’ keeps the user away from a loss when trading. Since it is designed to stay in the loop and adapt itself to the market, it is an intelligent solution to make as much as possible with a trade.
  4. Easy to set up for beginners, making sure that newcomers can navigate the 3Commas bot and make trades without any hassles.
  5. A well-laid-out dashboard and visualization of data allow the users to keep track of everything that is happening while boosting their appeal and ease of use.
  6. The free access offers a great trial so that users can make full use of the platform.
  7. A large number of exchange offers a wide array of information centres, making sure that your decision is well thought out with multiple inputs.
  8. The fact that users can refer and copy portfolios of successful traders.

Weak points of 3 Commas Bot Platform

  1. Security protocols are not explained with great clarity, raising concerns about whether the trades are truly secure. Users can, of course, enable the 2-factor verification for additional security, but the fact that not much is said about it leaves room for concern.
  2. The plans change regularly and might prove to be a bit confusing to say the least with 3Comms’ paid plans, commission plans, and a mix of both.
  3. The balance has to be filled up for commission, which may be a hindrance for many users.

Using trading bots for trading makes life easier. It can save traders a lot of time but will give it earn real money? Popular trading bots available to individual investors (regardless of whether paid or free) have one basic problem, namely the speed of response to changing market conditions, as well as the speed of placing and sending orders. This is not their strength. You will not find any information about latency, what is the maximum number of orders that can be sent  per second. Using low latancy software will give you advantage on the market over retail bot users. Therefore, institutional investors have an edge on the market.

But retail bots are good place to start education on how automation on the markets can work. 

Cryptohopper – Technical Review 2019

There is quite a hot market for cryptocurrency trading platforms and algorithmic trading bots. New crypto traders and active traders from capital markets are pouring in funds into algorithmic strategies and bots to make the most out of the constant opportunistic cryptocurrency fluctuation. On the other hand trading platform, providers and investment bots are tailoring their strategies to be tuned well to different scenarios depending on the type of events occurring within the market.
Due to the expansion of development from these trading bots and their adaptability to different events, the process of choosing one has become quite challenging, even for those with technical and trading background, hence at Empirica, we decided to bring knowledge about professional crypto trading bots to interested readers and traders and our selected bot for this article is Cryptohopper.

In this review, we will cover relative features included in Cryptohopper trading platform. We analyze ways that traders can utilize Cryptohopper for their trades. We also take a look at their tool from a technical point of view (our team at Empirica has been focused on the institutional algorithmic trading platform and market making algorithms for almost 10 years). Later in the review, we will also take a look at options we believe Cryptohopper lacks. But first and foremost:

What is Cryptohopper?

Cryptohopper is an retail algorithmic trading platform with a series of configurable trading features (more on professional algorithmic trading platform). Cryptohopper’s platform is shaped around 5 key elements, which each have been developed further to meet the needs of traders. The 5 key elements are:

  • Mirror trading
    This feature allows investors to copy the trades of experienced and successful forex investors. Strategies are available through a marketplace, some free and some paid.
  • Paper trading
    A simulated trading practice to assess trading algorithms with real and live data.
  • Strategy designer
    A technical indicator assembler which lets traders design their strategies using the listed indicators. There are currently somewhere around 130 technical indicators provided by Cryptohopper.
  • Algorithmic trading
    An automated way of executing trading algorithms with a specified set of configuration.
  • Trailing stop
    It’s a feature designed to stop strategies to operate if a defined trigger has been pulled.

 

Which exchanges are supported by Cryptohopper?

There are in total of 10 exchanges that are supported by Cryptohopper. Exchanges are KuCoin, Bitvavo, Binance, Coinbase pro, Bitterex, Poloniex, Kraken, Huobi, Bitfinex and Binance.US. 

 

How can I trade with Cryptohopper?

Depending on your sophistication level and trading knowledge, Traders can utilize Cryptohopper platform to their use. There are two bots, the market-making and Arbitrage bots and there are also strategies that can be used to select a set of indicators to form a strategy.

 

Market Making Bot

The market making bot is designed for retail investors (check market making bot for professional users). It is designed to perform liquidity provision to the market of traders’ choice. The market making bot is a configurable algorithm that executes buy and/or sell (take and/or make) by placing a layered limit of buy and sell orders. 

To initiate using the market making bot, traders must go through the preliminary configurations. Starts with choosing an exchange and setting up the API keys. Even using the API the fund still will be located in the exchange and in order to trade on the exchange, traders need to generate an API key and then connect that to their Cryptohopper account. 

After the initial configuration, there is also a set of more advanced Market Making configuration. Market and Pricing is the second stage of Market Making setup at Cryptohopper. This stage includes configuration of the market and which pair trader is interested in. Then moving on to the strategy setup with market trends. Market trends are either uptrend, downtrend or it could stay as neutral. Additionally, the order sequence of buying and selling with a given sequence, the order layer which represents the tiered buy and sell orders that are going to be placed and the moving on to the amount constraints within layers (e.g. buy amount, higher ask and percentage lower bid).

Cryptohopper Trading Bot Review

 

The Cryptohopper Market Making bot is also equipped with an “Auto-cancel” functionality which based on the configuration determines when to open and close positions. There is also a time limit to trigger the cancel on the bot. Seemingly the most important feature of the Auto Cancel is the Cancel on the trend, which enables auto cancelling on the bot when the marker changes to a direction e.g. from neutral to a downtrend or from neutral to uptrend and etc. Cancellation on the bot could also be triggered with percentage change, this only happens if the market has a certain specified percentage change or within a given period. The auto-cancel feature also works with the depth limit, which Traders can set from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 500. Additionally, Traders that are interested in Cryptohopper Market Making bot can set their “Stop-loss” settings. Stop-loss can be triggered in the event of a turn in the market. 

Cryptohopper market making bot also provides a revert and backlog feature, where it can move all the failed orders to the Traders’ backlog. Traders can also revert all their cancelled orders from the backlog if Traders decide to revert back a failed market maker orders and re-execute the orders. There are many more settings on reverting back orders that can be automated with configuration, to name of the settings, only revert if it will lead to a profit, or revert/not revert with market trends such as neutral trend, downtrend or uptrend.

In order to slow down the market making bot, Cryptohopper introduced the cool down feature, which the bots cooldowns by removing the order after a certain time has passed.

Cryptohopper has designed a dashboard with some widgets for Traders to monitor the market making bot in action. There is a trading view widget which is a visual representation of the current prices.

Cryptohopper Trading Bot Review

Among other widgets available on the Cryptohopper dashboard, there is the order book visualizations with the possibility of manual Market Making which enables buying and selling to be connected to each other and will input that order into the Market Making bot logs.

Cryptohoppe also has created an inventory for all failed trades to be stored in a place called backlog. In order for Traders to be able to use the Cryptohopper Market Making bot they need to be subscribed to the “hero hopper Pro” package, which costs a monthly subscription fee of 99$.

 

The Arbitrage bot:

The Arbitrage bot of Cryptohopper is designed to capitalize from changes across different markets. The bot allows to trade discrepancies in the market, taking advantage in market price between the same pairs on different exchanges.

Just like the market making bot, the Arbitrage bot also requires a pre-setup procedure to get going with the bot. The procedure starts with setting up the maximum open time of all buy orders, which determined the number of minutes a buy order remains open before the order is cancelled. Following that, there is the maximum open time of all sell orders which does the same thing but for all sell orders.

The setting up procedure then takes traders to exchange setting, where traders should specify two exchanges that would like to perform their arbitrage. Afterwards, they will set the percentage sell amount, which it should use to create the amounts which are being traded and then the Arbitrage amount per market which how much of trade at a time should take place.

In case interested trader would like to utilize exchange specific configuration, they can set minimum profit that they would like arbitrage with. Additionally, there are options to have the maximum open time of the Arbitrage. Traders are also given the possibility to simultaneous arbitrages which determine the maximum number of simultaneous or concurrent arbitrages. Furthermore, they set rate on buy and sells which specify the amount the Arbitrage should check. 

The Arbitrage dashboard also includes a backlog where all failed trades will be stored. The dashboard also has the latest Arbitrage trades that were both successful and failed. There are also other widgets inside the Arbitrage dashboard, e.g. exchange arbitrage dashboard results, the last five trades and market Arbitrage results.

Strategies:

Traders using Cryptohopper platform could create a trading strategy with a collection of indicators they have selected. These are the indicators to buy and sell trades. Cryptohopper has created a strategy designer feature where traders create and custom their strategies. There are three ways trades can utilize a strategy. First is to use Market Strategies, these are strategies bought on the Marketplace (we cover features of Marketplace later in this article). Strategies bought from Marketplace which could also be automatically be updated every time the seller of the strategy makes changes on the strategy. Second is built-in strategies, Cyrptohopper offers a set of built-in strategies that are offered free of charge. These are rather basic strategies such as uptrend strategies, buy the dip strategies, Bollinger strategies and etc. Third and last is My strategies, these are custom made strategies that traders built.

Strategy designer:

Strategy designer is a place where traders can personalize their technical analysis setting. There are given a set of indicators where traders can find and configure a wide selection of trading indicators. Traders on cryptohopper can decide on the chart period, buy and sell signals and candle period when selecting an indicator. With candle patterns, traders can directly respond to price movements from the chart data of an exchange. 

Furthermore, traders can design their strategies by adding a JSON code, this section is designed for more technical and programmer traders. These traders could also modify existing strategies. Once strategies are configured and up and running, Cryptohopper strategy dashboard allows traders to monitor their strategies. 

Cryptohopper Marketplace:

The marketplace is a section within the strategy creation process. This unit is designed solely for social and mirror trading. This is where traders with a usually lower level of experience and knowledge in trading can browse already created strategies and use it for their funds to invest with.

There is a set of strategies and templates available in the marketplace. Each template and strategy has a corresponding base-currency and exchange. Therefore templates can be chosen based on traders preferences. Additionally, all templates have information about their ratings, total downloads, modifications and recentness. 

The marketplace also consists of Signalers. All signals in the marketplace correspond to an exchange. A trader can configure their trading using only signals. The Signal configuration could limit orders. The setting also allows traders to take profit with a given percentage set.

 

Strategy statistics:

Cryptohopper provides traders with a set of statistics in order for traders to be able to monitor the performance of their strategies and trades. There is a variety of ways provided in the statistics dashboard to see how trades and strategies are performing. 

The time period for all buy and sell order, allocation of funds based on currency, open positions and base currency reserved. Traders can view their profit stats basing on currency invested on, base currency returns, the base currency gained/lost in current positions and trading fees paid. 

Profit based on sell triggers is another statistic available for traders to monitor profit related to percentage profit, trailing stop loss and auto close within time. Traders can also view profits based on buy triggers that we generated by strategies, signalers, trailing stop buy.

Cryptohopper Academy

For traders who would like to be familiar with Cryptohopper as a trading platform, there is a tutorial-like instruction supported by Cryptohopper itself and other instructors can also use this academy portal to provide education knowledge to interested traders.

 

Our take:

Cryptohopper has done a decent job working out a tool that traders would feel comfortable doing their trades. We really liked the interface and how they have designed a user journey that would fit a different type of traders with different level of expertise. The wording in the platform is well explanatory and hints around important features. Though, as a solution provider for professional crypto market makers, we believe the assessment of market trends are done manually by users and very sensitive to human error. The market making bot has a low ability to manage more market at once and needs of content human supervision.

Check our take on how trading bots for professional crypocurrency traders are build and designed.

Bitcoin and Arbitrage: hand in hand

Free version of Algorithmic Trading Platform for retail investors

We have just released beta of Empirica – Algorithmic Trading Paltform for retail investors! It’s lifetime free for development, testing and optimizing of trading algorithms.

Our development team (exactly this team who implemented the entire system) also provides full support in algorithms development as well as connectivity to brokers. If you need help just contact us.

Among many features what is unique is our exchange simulation where you can influence market conditions under which you test your algorithms. No others software offers such a realistic level of simulation.

In paid versions we offer the execution of algorithms in robust server side architecture.

We strive for your feedback!

Best regards,

Michal Rozanski
Founder and CEO at Empirica
twitter: @MichalRoza
https://empirica.io


Empirica Trading Platform – https://empirica.io

Our platform implemented by large brokerage house!

Empirica has successfully finished the implementation of its Algorithmic Trading Platform in one of the largest brokerage houses in Poland.

Brokerage house will use our software to:

  • aid its internal trading operations, like market making of derivatives on Warsaw Stock Exchange
  • offer functionalities of our platform to its institutional clients, which will be able to build, test and execute their own algorithmic trading strategies

Implementation included connecting of our software system directly to the system of the Warsaw Stock Exchange (Universal Trading Platform delivered by NYSE Technologies), as well as the integration with transaction systems of a brokerage house. Additionally, we have fulfilled and successfully passed tests regarding the highest security, stability, and performance requirements.

This implementation is an important milestone for our system. The usage by a team of market makers is proof that our system is capable of performing high-throughput and low latency operations on the level required by most sophisticated traders on the capital markets.

 

Next release of our algorithmic platform. Version 1.3.4 – has code name “The Firebolt”.

Next implementations of our Algorithmic Trading Platform by customers don’t stop us from developing the platform itself. Working agile requires us to keep the pace in short and frequent iterations, which in case of product means frequent releases, keeping the whole product line stable.

A few iterations that we planned in our 1.3.4 release, code named by our developers ‘The Firebolt’, will include among others:

– even faster real-time replication of all server-side components in master-slave mode (for deployment in larger institutions)

– extended client side backtesting capabilities

– sophisticated charting of backtesting results and statistics

– multiscreen mode of client side application

– additional web-based server-side module for administration & management

 

For those curious about the release name and unfamiliar with Harry Potter, Firebolt is:

“The state-of-the-art racing broom. The Firebolt has unsurpassable balance and pinpoint precision. Aerodynamic perfection.”
—Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup

“The Firebolt has an acceleration of 150 miles an hour in ten seconds and incorporates an unbreakable Braking Charm. Price upon request.”
—Harry reads about the features of the Firebolt.

Speed, precision, balance, perfection. These are the words that describe our software, therefore choosing the code name was kind of obvious :).

 

The Firebolt broom

HFT – the good, the bad and the ugly

High Frequency Trading, known also as HFT, is a technology of market strategies execution. HFT is defined by technically simple and time costless algorithms that run on appropriate software optimized for data structures, level of memory usage and processor use, as well as suitable hardware, co-location and ultra low-latency data feeds.

 

Although HFT exists on the market for over 20 years, it has became one of the hottest topic during past few years. It is caused by several factors, such as May 6, 2010, “Flash crash”, latest poor situation on the market and Michael Lewis book – “Flash Boys”. Let’s look where all that fuss comes from.

 

The Bad

 

Among other things, the advantage over other market participants and ability to detect market inefficiencies is the reason why so many people critics HFT so much. Most common charges put on the table are:

 

  • Front Running – HFT companies use early access to incoming quotes to buy shares before other investors and then turn around and sell him just bought shares with slightly bigger price.
  • Quote Stuffing – Way of market manipulation by quick sending and withdrawing large number of orders. Because of speed of operations, it creates a false impression of the situation on the market that leads other participants to executing against phantom orders. Then there is nothing else to do, but to exploit favorable prices by HFT investors.
  • Spoofing – Another method for market manipulation by placing orders and then cancelling them for price increase/decrease. It is based on placing big order on the market to bait other investors, and when the market starts to react, quickly cancel it. Then new price allows to gain some profit by HFT investor.

 

But that’s just a tip of the iceberg. It can be often heard that there is lack of proper HFT regulations, exist false belief that there are Dark Pools without any regulations where HFT companies can hide their activity, and there is still active argument if HFT brings liquidity to the market or just useless volume.

 

The Ugly?

 

Bill Laswell once said “People are afraid of things they don’t understand. They don’t know how to relate. It threatens their security, their existence, their career, image.” That phrase perfectly fits to what is happening now on High Frequency Trading topic. When people would like to take a closer look on how exchanges work, probably, they would be less sceptic to High Frequency Trading.

 

Thus, on most, maybe even on all, exchanges exist two mechanism which can efficiently handle problem of quote stuffing and spoofing. First of them is limitation of number of messages per second that can be send from one client. For example on New York Stock Exchange there is a limit of 1000 messages/sec, so it means that if HFT company burst whole 1000 of messages in first half of the period, in second half it cannot send any message, so it’s cut out of the market. Other limitation used by exchanges is a limit of messages per trade. It hits even harder in quote stuffing and spoofing. In most of the cases limit is around 500 messages per trade and if someone exceed it then he should be prepared for fines. On top of it company that frequently break limits could be banned from exchange for some time.

 

If we talk about front running, first thing we have to know is a fact that front running, in the dictionary meaning, is illegal action, and there are big fines for caught market participants who use it. Front running is using informations about new orders before they will go to the order book. Let’s say Broker gets new order with price limit to process, but before putting it to exchange, he will buy all available shares at better price than limit and then he execute client’s new order at limit getting extra profit. That’s highly not allowed and that’s not what HFT companies do.

 

All they do is tracking data feed, analyzing quotes, trades, statistics and basing on that information they try to predict what is going to happen in next seconds. Of course, they have advantage due to latency on data feed and so on, because of co-location, better connection and algorithms, but it’s still fair.

Hft-scalping-for-large-orders.svg

(source: Wikipedia)

 

HFT companies have to play on the same rules as other market participants, so they don’t have any special permits letting them do things not allowed for others. Same with Dark Pools, specially that they are regularly controlled by Finance Regulators.

 

The Good

 

First, we have to know that suppliers of liquidity, i.e. Market Makers and some investors use HFT. They place orders on both sides of the book, and all the time are exposed to sudden market movement against them. The sooner such investors will be able to respond to changes in the market, the more he will be willing to place orders and will accept the narrower spreads. For market makers the greatest threat is the inability to quickly respond to the changing market situation and the fact that someone else could realize their late orders.

 

System performance in this case is a risk management tool. Investments in the infrastructure, both a software and hardware (including co-location), are able to improve their situation in terms of risk profile. The increase in speed is then long-term positive qualitative impact on the entire market, because it leads to narrowing of the spread between bids and offers – that is, reduce the transaction costs for other market participants, and increase of the liquidity of the instruments.

 

HFT AND MARKET QUALITY

 

In April of 2012. IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada), the Canadian regulatory body, has changed fee structure based so far only on the volume of transactions, adding the tariffs and fees that also take into account the number of sent messages (new orders, modifications and cancellations). In result, introducing new fees made trading in the high frequencies more difficult. It was very clearly illustrated by data from the Canadian market.

 

Directly in the following months these fees caused a decrease in the number of messages sent by market participants by 30% and hit, as you might guess, precisely the institutions that use high-frequency trading, including market makers. The consequence for the whole market was increase in the average bid-ask spread by 9%.

NO PLACE FOR MISTAKES

 

When people talk about HFT, both enthusiast and critics, it is not rare to hear that HFT is risk free. Well, on the face of it, after analyzing how HFT works you would possibly agree with it, but there is a dangerous side of HFT that can be not so obvious and people often forgot about it. HFT algorithms works great if the code is well written, but what would happen if someone would run wrong, badly tested or incompatible code on a real market?

 

We don’t have to guess it, because it happened once and it failed spectacularly, it was a “Knightmare”. Week before unfortunate 1st of August Knight Capital started to upload new version of its proprietary software to eight of their servers. However Knight’s technicians didn’t copy the new code to one of eight servers. When the market started at 9:30 AM and all 8 server was run, the horror has begun. Old incompatible code messed up with the new one and Knight Capital initiated to lose over $170,000 every second.

(source: nanex.net)

It was going for 45 minutes before someone managed to turn off the system. For this period Knight Capital lost around $460 million and became bankrupt. That was valuable lesson for all market participants that there is no place for mistakes in HFT ecosystem, because even you can gain a lot of money fast, you can lose more even faster.

 

SUMMARY

 

HFT is a natural result of the evolution of financial markets and the development of technology. Companies that invest their own money in technology in order to take advantage of market inefficiencies deserve to profit like any other market participant.

 

HFT is not as black as is painted.

 

Aldridge, Irene (2013), High-Frequency Trading: A Practical Guide to Algorithmic Strategies and Trading Systems, 2nd edition, Wiley,

 

Warsaw Stock Exchange certifies our Trading Platform

 

Empirica’s Algorithmic Trading Platform has successfully passed the XDP protocol communication certification, issued by the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

From now on Empirica is officially listed as the ISV (Independent Software Vendor) for the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

WSE uses the Universal Trading Platform delivered by NYSE Technologies. The same system is used by many other European and world stock exchanges. Fulfillment of technical criteria of the Warsaw Stock Exchange makes certification for those markets only a formality for our platform.