Thomson Reuters Expands Crypto Data

Shanny Basar

Thomson Reuters has teamed up with CryptoCompare to integrate data for 50 coins into its financial desktop, which highlights the increase in institutional interest in these new assets.

Sam Chadwick, director of strategy in innovation and blockchain at Thomson Reuters, told Markets Media that the firm has been investigating blockchain and cryptocurrencies proactively since 2015.

Sam Chadwick, Thomson Reuters

“Last October there was a complete change in perception towards cryptocurrencies,” he said. “We launched an Eikon page with a dashboard for cryptocurrencies and it was the the second most viewed FX page between October and March.”

Thomson Reuters has now entered into a strategic partnership with CryptoCompare, the global cryptocurrency market data aggregator. This allows the integration of order book and trade data for 50 coins traded on a variety of exchanges into Eikon, Thomson Reuters’ financial desktop. In addition, brokers will be able to supply their own prices to Eikon.

Chadwick said Thomson Reuters has been engaged with CryptoCompare since the data aggregator’s involvement in its blockchain hackathon in September 2016.

He added: “We want to provide data for price discovery and CryptoCompare’s diligence in aggregating data is extremely solid. They can act as a steward of the space as it evolves and we can provide a broader spectrum of data on Eikon with confidence.”

Charles Hayter, chief executive and founder of CryptoCompare, told Markets Media that the firm has been collating data on cryptocurrencies since 2014. This experience means the firm knows the more reputable exchanges after watching a number of platforms come into and out of existence. CryptoCompare provides real-time market and pricing data on more than 5,000 coins and 200,000 currency pairs globally.

Charles Hayter, CryptoCompare

“Exchanges have to meet our criteria, including their corporate structure,” he added. “We essentially act as a gatekeeper to ensure the data we use is accurate and reliable.”

Hayter continued that CryptoCompare connects to an exchange’s server and collects trade data which is normalised and aggregated for institutional investors.

“We know there are institutions on the sidelines who are waiting for the infrastructure to develop for this new form of finance,” he added.

Chadwick agreed that institutional investors are showing a growing level of interest in cryptocurrencies and want to be prepared so they are not left behind.

“Having data on Eikon will help institutionalise the market by providing validation on cryptocurrencies that exist and by building the ecosystem,” said Chadwick.

He continued that half of Thomson Reuters’ clients are machines so the firm will ensure that the new data is machine-readable and easily integrated into institutional workflows. Chadwick expects that Thomson Reuters will eventually provide the same level of data as in traditional markets and new types of data such as blockchain analytics.

“The transaction flows on chains will provide new trading opportunities,” he added.

Hayter agreed that data on blocks in the chain could indicate potential price changes and underpin valuations of cryptocurrencies.

Richard Johnson, Greenwich Associates

Richard Johnson, vice president in consultancy Greenwich Associates’ market structure and technology practice, focusing on equities and financial technology, said in a recent report that institutional interest in the space has begun, as indicated by the bitcoin futures launched on CME and Cboe, the US exchanges.

“This institutional interest is only likely to grow as the US Securities and Exchange Commission lays out a regulatory framework, so it is important that investors understand the developments occurring in the space and the potential regulatory path forward,” Johnson added. “While there is a real risk that over-regulation of the space will drive innovation and capital formation to other jurisdictions, the flip side of the coin (or token), is that sensible regulation that protects investors and welcomes innovators will enable a thriving technology startup ecosystem.”

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