Hong Kong-based startup Atom Group has officially launched its crypto trading platform based on the matching engine technology of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) amid a tightening of the region's crypto-regulatory regime.
The AAX platform lists more than 50 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, as well as five perpetual futures trading contracts offering up to 100x leverage for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, and XRP contracts. For cash investors, AAX also provides an OTC platform, which first time cryptocurrency investors or investors looking to increase their exposure to cryptocurrency assets can convert from US dollar, Renminbi and Hong Kong dollars.
The technology advancement is possible as it is the first crypto exchange using LSE's Millennium Exchange, along with stock exchanges in Singapore and Hong Kong, per the newly-launched exchange.
Under the framework proposed by the SFC, I believe that part of the market will remain unregulated for a while"
"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…LSEG tech is one of the most recognized," Thor Chan, Atom's CEO, told Bloomberg.
The matching engine is capable of handling up to hundreds of thousands of transactions per second at an average latency of under 500 microseconds, delivering investors, performance levels on a par with traditional financial markets. As part of the AAX deployment, it will be the first time that the matching engine has been used in a 24-hour trading environment and deployed onto a cloud computing platform.
AAX's launch comes just one day after Hong Kong's securities regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), released new guidance for domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.
The regulator has indicated that cryptocurrency trading related to security offering or futures contracts will henceforth come under its remit as a regulated activity.
However, Atom expects its cryptocurrency exchange to keep operating in an unregulated environment amid increased scrutiny of trading platforms to protect investors.
"Under the framework proposed by the SFC, I believe that part of the market will remain unregulated for a while," Chan told the SCMP. While AAX welcomes the SFC efforts and intention, he does not think AAX fit into the framework. The group will instead seek more licences in Asia to build banking relationship to facilitate clients' trading, Chan added.