Chris Mack is an experienced fintech builder and one of those people with a mind for finance that has seen him work with a long list of different firms. With an impressive portfolio of clients that he has sold his expert consultancy to, Chris then jumped onto the Bitcoin wave in 2013, causing him to launch his bitcoin futures trading platform Levidge, which has a combined 25 + years of fintech experience on staff.
Chris took some time out to answer a few questions regarding his business.
Can you give us a basic introduction of yourself Chris? Tell us about your journey and how you got into the trading industry.
Before founding Levidge, I spent the last 15 years of my career consulting for Wall Street firms such as Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, Eris Digital, and Galaxy Digital. I specialized in building low latency trading systems for various different asset classes including equities, credit, treasuries, commodities, CDS (Credit Default Swaps), options, futures, and finally crypto. In 2009 I founded tradeplacer.com, a precious metals exchange.
In 2013 I started to experiment with Bitcoin, but it became apparent to me that there is a large gap between crypto trading platforms and what I would expect from institutional grade platforms. In the earlier days of crypto, even the largest exchanges were constantly crashing and could not consistently handle order flow. So, I started building a much better engine, with institutional grade performance and risk management. While spot exchanges have slowly improved, they are still not on par with other markets, such as equities. Derivatives are exponentially more complicated than spot markets, and there is still a large gap between the current crypto derivatives markets and where I believe they should be.
What significant changes have you observed in the trading space since you first got involved?
Wall Street has stagnated, especially since the financial crisis of 2009. Investment in new technologies and products has been very slow for traditional institutions. Larger firms have been hit by a brain drain to fintech, including blockchain and crypto startups. Crypto adoption has been doubling every year, and it’s finally mature enough to support institutions and traditional investors. With this, we are finally seeing markets become mature enough for sophisticated derivatives traders.
How is Levidge different from other trading platforms?
The largest crypto derivatives that exchange by volume require traders to use only Bitcoin as collateral, and they have been known to have performance issues. Levidge is focused on using crypto as collateral, rather than simply on-boarding from fiat. The Levidge engine supports trading all asset classes using cross collateral. This means that you can deposit any combination of Bitcoin, Ether, Tether, and other coins, without having to sell them, and use the coin collateral to trade crypto as well as the S&P 500, gold, silver and oil – as well as other commodities and stocks. We’re able to do this because the engine was designed to process risk for all users upon any change in state. The entire platform has been benchmarked to process over 100,000 orders a second.
You can trade with Bitcoin or other alt-coins at Levidge – is this currency popular? Are there any benefits of using cryptocurrency at Levidge?
If you’re holding an alt-coin and want to trade futures, you would have to sell your alt-coin for Bitcoin to trade on Bitmex. Similarly, to trade on Binance Futures, you would have to trade your Bitcoin or alt-coin for Tether. Because Levidge applies any combination of cross-collateral, you don’t have to sell any of your coins to trade on Levidge. If you have coins with large gains and want exposure to other markets, you can obtain it without selling your coins and incurring capital gains tax. This is a huge advantage.
What advice would you give to new investors or users entering the trading space?
Invest in yourself and educate yourself on crypto and the trading tools available to you. Crypto has opened the doors for more innovative products, and more flexible capital formation. Choose strategies that match your personal risk profile and activeness. Levidge offers high leveraged trading 24/7, with many opportunities for income. Whether you are a long-term trader, active trader, or high frequency algorithmic trader, long, or short, there are ways to profit on Levidge.
Thank you Chris for sharing your thoughts with us!
You can follow up with Chris Mack at https://levidge.com