Trading systems have historically been the province within large financial institutions that as “master of the universe” controlled trillions of dollars in equity. They did this by essentially locking up access to transaction engines and applications that enable most of the trading that takes place on Wall Street and other exchanges across the globe.
But if Tradier Brokerage has anything to say about it, a humble RESTful API is about to forever democratize access to brokerage systems. Tradier has launched its Cloud Brokerage Platform that makes use of real-time RESTful APIs, called the Bundled Financial Services API, to give developers access to trading system from anywhere.
Img Source: tradier.com
According to Tradier CEO Dan Raju, while other trading platforms have made use of APIs before, RESTful APIs that work in real time marks the first time that a simple to use interface has been made available to give anyone who can develop an application access to a trading system. That means that instead of having to aggregate all the people that build complex application logic in places such as New York, London or Shanghai, people at the edge of the trading world can have access to the same transaction processing capabilities via the Tradier cloud platform.
Written in Java, Raju says Tradier makes money based on the volume of trades on its platform. As such, it’s in their interest to open its trading platform to third-party applications that will invoke its RESTful APIs to increase transaction volume. The APIs themselves are managed via the API management platform developed by Apigee.
In general, Raju says financial trading firms are wholly unprepared for how the principles of the API Economy are about to applied to trillions of dollars in financial transactions. For the most part, large financial firms have tried to limit control over application logic that is embedded in their financial trading systems because it represents intellectual property that differentiates their services. By opening up the Cloud Brokerage, Raju says any small group of savvy investors with access to a handful of developers can now create their own financial trading applications.
In effect, Tradier is using the cloud to replace some of the most opaque systems on the planet. The degree to which Tradier is embraced by traditional financial services firms remains to be seen. But as word spreads of the capabilities of the Tradier platform, it’s a lot more likely that there is going to be more competition for investment dollars once it becomes clear that developing these applications just got a whole lot simpler.