Data is the single most important feature of digital asset trading systems. It is critical to digital trading systems and their infrastructure for all sorts of reasons.
Data research company Brave New Coin (BNC) recently partnered with trading solutions company QuantHouse. They created new data provisions for QuantHouse traders by allowing traders new data sets that allow for all sorts of new possibilities.
We reached out to Fran Strajnar, the Founder and CEO of Brave New Coin for more on this and other issues. Here is what he had to say.
Fran Strajnar, the Founder and CEO of Brave New Coin
Congratulations on your partnership with QuantHouse! What’s next for Brave New Coin (BNC)?
Fran Strajnar, CEO and founder of Brave New Coin: We’ve seen a surge in demand for data infrastructure, new financial instruments and analytics. We look forward to growing the service rane to QuantHouse and it’s wide user-base.
What are the details of the partnership with QuantHouse?
Strajnar: QH is distributing BNC’s high frequency data feeds as part of its services aimed at quant shops, prop trading and buy-side clients.
How is accurate data critical for successful digital asset trading and operations?
Strajnar: Crypto trades 24/7, and with both active spot and derivatives markets, accurate and timely data is essential for price discovery, risk management and performance analysis.
Please, can you tell us more about the Brave New Coin DeFi Index?
Strajnar: The DeFi index represents a weighted basket of the top DeFi tokens. As with BNC high-frequency pricing data for single assets, the DeFi index is calculated up to 10x per second, and likewise it has been designed to withstand market manipulation while also being able to function during market events such as flash crashes.
What are the advantages and benefits of having more than one data source for cryptocurrency and digital asset trading?
Strajnar: The value of having multiple data sources is mainly two-fold: with price variation between trading venues still at times quite significant, multiple sources can both help identify arbitrage opportunities, and test how far from (or close to) a given venue price or broker quote is from the rest of the market.
How has the year been for Brave New Coin?
Strajnar: It’s been a wild year for the whole industry. We’ve seen a lot of demand by top tier operators for new crypto instruments and thus data-infrastructure, product consulting and benchmark solutions. I think we’ll see a live bitcoin ETF by the end of year and a flurry of other both conventional and DeFi instruments go live.
What are your thoughts on the recent crash in the prices of cryptocurrencies?
Strajnar: Not investment advice but personally foresee a double top to this 4-year cycle. The G7 just announced a $40 Trillion dollar global infrastructure plan to compete with the BRI. And Basel III is the end of the dubious paper-gold market. One does not simply print dollars to infinity without having hedge assets like metals and crypto soak up fiat-leavers. I generally expect significant volatility for the remainder of this year in both legacy and crypto markets.
Elon Musk has recently had a larger-than-life effect on cryptocurrency markets. Especially when he has made no substantial sacrifices or contributions to the cryptocurrency and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). What do you think can be done to ensure that no single individual, corporate entity, or institution has an effect of that magnitude on cryptocurrency and digital asset prices?
Strajnar: He is just towing the party line in my opinion. Elon Musk’s tweets seem like actions on instruction to quell the sudden rise of interest in an alternative asset class. Meanwhile he’s pumping doge and using the excuse of it being a joke as plausible deniability. This behaviour brings the whole market down. Now that he’s come out and parroted the party line of the green-new-deal and BTC being bad for the environment (something that has been debunked countless times), it has become clear that these are not his original thoughts. The timing is also interesting as various countries took action against bitcoin in the same month.
Can you give us your thoughts on the current state of the cryptocurrency space?
Strajnar: I think since blockchain/crypto infrastructure is ready now, the cryptography, wallets, on/off ramps, middleware and other key infrastructure was well matured for global adoption by the time 2021 rolled around. I also think crypto is now intrinsically tied to the very fabric of ‘value and exchange’ globally. So the tech is there and ready – is the demand?
To understand what is going on with crypto, one must first understand what is going on globally. We have begun a major transition from a uni-polar order to either a federated or multi-polar order. This is why crypto has received both tremendous support and often surprising detrimental treatment from institutions and governments globally. If we think of the old gartner cycle chart, we’re currently about 10~% into the mainstream-adoption phase. The current macro geo-economic background is a perfect storm for cryptocurrency’s continued bull run, irrespective of which exact direction the world order moves towards.
When, how, and why do you think Bitcoin’s dominance will either continue or end? What are your thoughts on Bitcoin’s continuous dominance of the cryptocurrency space?
Strajnar: Bitcoin has established itself as the gold standard of digital stores of value and it has survived everything thrown at it for over 10 years now. I think BTC is a gateway for people to try out programmable-value/decentralized money. BTC’s market market cap ‘dominance’ is less important than the total number of users/wallet numbers across the entire asset class and that is a metric that continues to creep up!
What are your thoughts on the appointment of Gary Gensler as the Secretary of the US Treasury?
Strajnar: Having an ex-Goldman Sachs executive in charge of the SEC is like a crutch salesman pretending to be a doctor and stating ‘we’ll have to amputate’. Upon appointment Mr Gensler immediately signaled that XRP should be ok but much more regulation is required for other cryptocurrencies in general. Meanwhile I believe the individual states will continue passing sensible state-level laws (such as the recent positive Wyoming DAO legislation) to protect innovation from federal overreach, but we shall see.
Do you have any new products and services that will hit the markets this year? Do you want to tell us about it?
Strajnar: BNC is in the final stages of building a Bitcoin-settled ETF – modeled similar to the GLD Gold ETF and listed on a major stock exchange, with global distribution. BNC has also been consulting to a number of DeFi products and companies building decentralized ETF’s and various new decentralized funds and instruments. The innovation we are seeing is amazing and we look forward to a bright couple of years rolling products out.
As new blockchains and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are hitting the space, new ideas and innovations are coming up by the day. How do you deal with the influx of new innovation into the blockchain space?
Strajnar: When you take a 40,000 foot view, all the new innovation is consolidated into a handful of focus areas:
- Continued build up of global infrastructure.
- More middleware/interoperability between legacy banking/finance and blockchain.
- Easier/Safer retail user experience (wallets, Identity, key management, etc).
- Cross-chain compatibility.
- Efficient smart contract design and layer 2 solution growth.
Within a few years it won’t matter what blockchain you use. The trend is a drive to seamlessly accessing the services you want, when and where you want. The features and products demand will continue to be user-led.
Recent innovations also come with their issues. How do you address safety and security within the Brave New Coin infrastructure?
Strajnar: BNC is relatively conventional – Services such as benchmark administration, 3rd party calculating agent or market-data provisioning and data infrastructure are not ‘on-chain’ so our business does not have the stigma or issues of DeFi innovation and infrastructure.
We do however do a lot of consulting to cutting edge DeFi product roll-outs and see a trend evolving where products are being tested in production – this is highly irresponsible as untested / un-audited smart-contract based services and products are highly susceptible to flash-loan attacks and various exploits. We are seeing many larger teams now exhaustively audit their platforms *before* releasing products and anticipate a global DeFi code-of-conduct to eventually come into existence as a general best practice guide.
Please, can you tell us more about the Brave New Coin mission vision and outlook?
Strajnar: We created BNC in 2013 with an expectation that the industry will grow exponentially if good data-infrastructure and services exist to scale legacy integration and mass-market adoption. We’re realizing this vision now as an industry and it’s a continued joy to be part of it all.
What role do you think cryptocurrencies and their allied technologies will play in the coming economic recovery?
Strajnar: Crypto is simply ‘Plan B’ for a world addicted to endless stimulus and fractional reserve banking practices. I believe 2 parallel economies will exist for a while. Ultimately in the longer term, what we are seeing is a tug-of-war between totally decentralized financial automata and centralized digital currencies using DLT to streamline the legacy system.
If you had three wishes and a Genie that could make them come true, what would they be for Brave New Coin?
- A double top for crypto this 4-year cycle peaking in Dec 2021 with new ATH’s.
- A live ETF before Xmas.
- And continue to have fun working in the greatest industry along the way!