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Crypto Three Minutes With Trading Technologies Michael Unetich

TT Launches Platform To Help Cryptocurrency Market Evolve

by Jessica Darmoni
1 year ago

"There is value in transferring money in a borderless way that is resistant to geopolitical issues," said Trading Technologies Vice President of Cryptocurrencies, Michael Unetich. 

Recently, Trading Technologies (TT) announced the launch of a dedicated crypto-only version of their front-end trading platform called TT® Crypto. Hehmeyer Trading + Investments sat down with Michael Unetich to learn more about how he got involved with cryptocurrencies, why he believes they are a good investment and what TT is doing in this space.

Unetich first became aware of cryptocurrencies in 2011 but admits that his hesitancy to invest in the market stemmed from security and hacking scandals and the extreme price volatility. 

It wasn’t until 2015 that Unetich started looking at cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the technology behind it, for investment purposes.

“Crypto is the world’s first global currency and its success relies on the distributed ledger technology behind it, which is accessible to anyone around the world with a computer,” he said. “The infrastructure is quite sound.”

Unetich referred to Cypherpunks and their failed effort in the 1990s to launch an earlier form of cryptocurrencies.

“It didn’t take off back then for a variety of reasons. The technology was not solid at that point and work still needed to be done from a cryptography standpoint so that owners couldn’t double spend a coin,” said Unetich. “With blockchain, we have a copy of all the transactions and owners’ signatures.”

Unetich also believes that cryptocurrencies have some unique benefits as an investment opportunity.

“Bitcoin, for example, has a set cap which protects against inflation,” he said.  “Also, you can transact with bitcoin 24/7 where central banks are limited in this regard.”

He also compared bitcoin to gold.

"Gold is a store of value but we need to protect it, and that costs money," he said. "However because bitcoin is digital, it doesn't have to be physically transported or protected in the same costly way."

As an investor in the spot market, Unetich was getting frustrated because he believed cryptocurrencies needed a professional platform to help it evolve.  With the launch of TT’s partnership with Coinbase’s GDAX in Q1 this year, TT aims to bring the proprietary traders in the futures markets into crypto as market makers and speculators.

It's important to note that TT is a front-end trading provider enabling futures traders to route orders to global exchanges.  It is not an exchange, market maker or custodian.  According to Unetich, traders are using TT to trade spot crypto and will benefit from having bitcoin futures and spot on the same screen to trade the difference, known as the basis.

“Many of these early adopters are the proprietary trading firms that are getting into cryptocurrencies as a new asset class,” he said. “We are also seeing Tier 1 FCMs who were not clearing bitcoin futures when they launched at CME Group and Cboe Futures Market LLC, now expressing interest.”

Currently, TT is only connected to GDAX but continues to assess the exchange landscape and expects to have further cryptocurrency exchange connections by the end of the year.

"Going into a new asset class has brought on challenges we haven't had with futures so we are taking it slow," said Unetich. "We are working with fractional quantities now and trading around the clock, which is new to the futures world."

TT is listening to customer feedback when it comes to connecting to other exchanges in the cryptocurrency world. They may look to diversify from a geographical standpoint as well as with the number of crypto assets offered.

With the interest TT is seeing for cryptocurrency, it seems only a matter of time before we see futures on other digital assets besides bitcoin.  And it is nice to see professional developments being made for new participants to enter the market and help it evolve.

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