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Wall Street Heavyweights Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange

Wall Street Heavyweights Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange

Eight former core developers from Morgan Stanley, have announced the launch of Phemex, a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. Phemex is 10x faster than traditional crypto trading platforms with the ability to manage 300,000 TPS — the fastest matching engine online. Additionally, Phemex’s low latency system architecture delivers an order entry and response time of less than 1 millisecond while maintaining stable APIs for algorithmic trading.

Up to 100 times leverage is offered to both retail and institutional investors in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple perpetual contracts. Contracts will soon be able to be backed by not only crypto assets, but also by traditional financial products, such as stock indexes, interest rates, foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, metals and energy, for users to trade easily and with trust. 

“These trading metrics are on par with those experienced at some big investment banks’ like Morgan Stanley,” said Jack Tao, an 11-year veteran executive from Morgan Stanley where he was the Global Development Leader of Morgan Stanley's Electronic Trading (MSET) Benchmark Execution Strategies (BES) before co-founding Phemex. 

Tao has assembled a team of 30+ senior developers, consisting of 8 executives from Morgan Stanley’s BES and Enterprise Application Infrastructure teams, combining over 40+ years of experience in delivering high frequency technology with great stability. 

“We are the first exchange to truly bring Wall Street level sophistication to the worldwide crypto derivatives markets. Our matching engine, trading engine, and risk engine were six months in the making, putting the platform technically on par with Nasdaq," continued Tao.

Existing crypto derivative trading platforms have been plagued by performance and reliability issues, especially during high volume trading periods such as Bitcoin’s mid-June $10,000 price shift. Some big  crypto trading platforms are built in Kdb+ — while extremely efficient in calculating orders, costs and risks, Kdb+ presents exchanges with reliability issues due to scalability and transaction throughput limitations.

Phemex, in contrast, has been engineered in C++ and React by veterans of traditional finance. Phemex redefines industry standards of reliability and scale and significantly raises the bar set by today’s crypto exchanges.  

“We’re not just providing the functionality for trading. As executives from Morgan Stanley, we know what kind of ways, what kind of direction, or what kind of architecture can support high-frequency trading, stability, and low latency. This is where Phemex excels — our expertise allows us to compete with and outperform existing platforms,” added Tao. 

The ex-Morgan Stanley developers have also built their own Hierarchical Deterministic Cold Wallet System,, which assigns an independent deposit address to each user, so that all assets are kept in cold wallets directly. Bitcoin collection and transfer are all conducted via offline signature with strict human scrutiny. 

Despite regulators working at curbing the use of leverage globally, for Phemex, a Singapore-domiciled company, the launch is particularly timely, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, just announcing they may soon allow cryptocurrency-based derivatives to be traded on regulated platforms. 

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