Nicholas Pratt
Nicholas Pratt

Forex ECNs - leveraging a powerful new generation of transparent marketplaces

With acquisitions and new launches, the FX ECN market is abuzz with activity. Nicholas Pratt examines the developments and what factors will decide the fates of the various players, new and old.

After a number of years of relative quiet in the world of FX multibank platforms and ECNs, the last eight months has seen a flurry of activity not seen since the beginning of the millennium when many of the incumbents made their initial forays into the FX market. Since the beginning of 2012, there have been between five and eight new ECNs launched (depending on what you define as an ECN). Included among these new entrants are FastMatch, Molten Markets, traFXPure, FXSpotStream and tpSPOTDEAL. The new ventures are all suggesting that they offer something unique to the FX market – aside from the annoying tendency to mix upper and lower case lettering – but the bullish optimism of the newcomers is matched by the guarded scepticism of the old guard who feel that there are several challenges the new entrants must overcome if they are to be sustainable. Help may be on hand in the way of regulatory change, although surely no new venture wants to have their fate in the hands of banking supervisors and...continued

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