Targeting Wall Street, Bitcoin Exchange Coinsetter Launches FIX API

Patricio Robles
Aug. 14 2014, 03:42PM EDT

Coinsetter, a venture-backed bitcoin exchange and trading platform, announced Wednesday the availability of a new API for the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol.

The New York City-based company, which was co-founded by former Wall Street veterans and promotes itself as "the only platform with Wall Street performance," believes its FIX API is crucial to supporting financial services professionals looking to access the bitcoin market.

"Well-built exchanges with low latency API connectivity for professional traders are of growing importance in creating a deeply liquid bitcoin market, which supports growth of the wider bitcoin industry," the company explained in a press release. "We believe that the feature we’re announcing today is one of the most substantial industry milestones towards bringing bitcoin to large market makers, professional traders, and institutions."

Using the FIX API, those market markers, professional traders and institutions can connect their existing trading systems to Coinsetter. Once connected, they can access market data, such as Coinsetter's order book, and execute bitcoin trades through the Coinsetter exchange. The company's developer portal contains full documentation for the FIX API, and to assist with integration, Coinsetter provides a development sandbox.

Sometimes You Need More Than REST

Prior to launching its FIX API, Coinsetter offered REST and WebSockets APIs. But if bitcoin is ever to break into Wall Street in a major way, financial institutions are going to need to be able to tap into bitcoin markets with the same efficiency present in other markets and using the same trading systems that they've invested billions of dollars in.

In an industry where milliseconds can mean millions of dollars in gains or losses, REST and WebSockets aren't going to cut it. By launching a FIX API, which is used to trade trillions of dollars in securities every year and has the backing of some of the world's most important financial institutions, Coinsetter hopes that professionals will look at bitcoin differently. "We believe our FIX API is a reason for professional traders who have been waiting on the sidelines to become actively involved in bitcoin," the company stated.

While the demands of Wall Street might be higher than average, Coinsetter's decision to build an API for the FIX protocol serves as a good reminder that in some markets, it takes more than a REST API to drive adoption. Legacy and industry-specific protocols may not get much press or love, but in some cases supporting them can be crucial for API providers.

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