Blockchain.com has announced that it is launching a new microsecond-latency crypto exchange called The Pit. If you thought that its name is related to some sort of complex security system and hence it is very “deep”, well you were wrong like us. If, however, you took into account the speed factor and connected it to the Pit stops of formula one races, well you’re smarter than us. That’s exactly where the name comes from. The institutional-grade platform will be launched in over 240 markets around the world, including a select number of U.S. states.
The R&D department boasts that it’s custom “Mercury” matching engine now delivers faster execution than any other crypto exchange. It is also hosted in one of the fastest and most reliable low-latency data centres in the world (Equinix LD4), promising performance just in case your data network decides to ditch you. The cherry on top of the cake? A feature called Blockchain Connect will allow the company’s many wallet users to transfer funds directly to and from their Pit account, all while being able to manage their digital assets through a single provider. It’s like having remote-controlled LED lights which you can switch off easily when you’re too tired to get up from the bed, just that Pit brings it to the financial sector.
The company claims to never trade against its clients or give itself superior access to the market.
“The current crypto exchange market is outdated, broken, and skewed against users. We got tired of waiting for a new entrant to deliver the performance today’s traders demand,” explained Peter Smith, Blockchain CEO. “We decided to take matters into our own hands, and built an exchange that puts users first, including the 40M wallets on our platform.”
DON’T WORRY, WE INVITED FIAT TO THE PARTY AS WELL!
The new exchange will launch with a global banking network that facilitates deposits, withdrawals, and fiat-to-crypto trading in USD, EUR, and GBP. It will feature bitcoin cash (BCH) as a core asset at launch, alongside additional initial cryptos such as BTC, ETH, and LTC, as well as stablecoins such as USDT, and PAX, for a total of 26 trading pairs. The company also plans to rapidly add additional tokens, pairs, and products in the near term. Users will get to see a neatly amalgamated design of the Fiat and Cryptocurrencies, but there is a little regulatory hassle as you’ll get to know soon.
The trading venue will launch with the support of a diverse group of market markers backed by a deep lending pool.
“This project has been developed by an accomplished team with demonstrated experience in managing one of the largest userbases of crypto traders. The crypto ecosystem needs more exchanges that are striving for institutional-grade architecture, decreased latency, and more robust liquidity. We look forward to playing our part in developing The PIT into one of the leading trading venues,” commented Cristian Gil, Co-Founder of GSR, one of the global market makers on the platform.
All users will have to be at least Silver Tier KYC to trade at The Pit, which requires providing a legal name, verified email, date of birth, and address. Gold Tier KYC requires a photo of a government-issued ID and of the applicant but opens up higher trading amounts and features on both the wallet and the exchange. So yeah, Pit is not the strongest proponent of anonymity around.
The CEO of the company has revealed that the new platform was developed in secrecy over the past year by a dedicated new group of employees inside Blockchain.com. (Remember the Dunkin Donuts party that your super-talented, blockchain dev friend Fred ditched? Well now you know why.) This stealth team was joined by veterans from finance and technology firms such as NYSE, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, Google, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Interactive Brokers and Revolut (And Marvel wants us to believe theirs was the strongest crossover. Hah!)
“We’re incredibly lucky to have assembled a world class team who have been heads-down building The PIT for the past year. The ‘PIT Crew’ as we call them, has an unmatched level of technical skills and the domain expertise required to develop a product of this caliber,” stated Smith.
Nicole Sherrod joined last July to lead product development of the trading platform. She previously led the active trading product division at online brokerage giant TD Ameritrade. It is implicit that Blockchain made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.
“I’ve dedicated my career to championing the retail investor and giving them a powerful trading experience that is not only fair, but provides an edge,” explained Sherrod. “When Peter approached me with his vision for The PIT, I realized this was an even greater impact on retail crypto traders everywhere.”
Tom Haller, previously the Chief Software Architect for trading systems at the New York Stock Exchange, led the development of the exchange’s matching engine.
“Whereas most cryptocurrency exchanges run alongside slow, consumer applications in the cloud, The PIT leverages best practices from Wall Street to facilitate rapid, efficient, and high-quality trade execution at HFT [high-frequency trading] speeds,” commented Haller.
Blockchain.com is one of the most trusted companies in the digital assets space and has raised over $70 million in funding from investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google Ventures. They have managed to pull together people from the same background and integrate them into a team to form The Pit. It is also known for being friendly to the BCH community, integrating the cryptocurrency into its services. Earlier this year, for example, the company launched a Bitcoin Cash block explorer that allows users to search for detailed information on specific BCH blocks, check whether a transaction has confirmed, view the balance of a wallet address, monitor market prices, and even watch real-time network transactions. You can say that they’re pretty ahead of their competitors in this field.
In January of this year, the wallet provider also created an educational tool called Blockchain Primers (a lesson learned is a penny earned!) The service is intended to offer a relatively concise overview of each crypto asset including background material, the latest market data and analysis. The first report issued on it was an introduction to BCH, whose advantages over BTC, according to the research, include greater maximum on-chain transaction capacity, lower average transaction fees, and additional smart contract functionality.
What remains now to be seen is how well The Pit handles the workload that is thrown at it and how sustainable it proves itself to be.