Next generation Bitcoin Exchange Gemini will be used as a sandbox for students of renowned Algorithmic Traders Ernest Chan and Nick Kirk to develop their algorithmic trading skills.

Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton caught up with Nick Kirk, a veteran of IBM Research and an algo-crypto trader.

Kirk works with the guru of trading Dr. Ernie Chan who is an author of several books seen as the benchmark for aspiring traders including “Quantitative Trading: How to build your own algorithmic trading business” and “Algorithmic Trading: winning Strategies and their Rationale.”

Testing waters in Algo Trading

Cointelegraph: Is there a lot of interest in algorithmic crypto-trading these days?

Nick Kirk: There is growing recognition amongst the trading and hedge fund community of the importance of cryptocurrencies being part of the mix. That’s why Dr. Ernie Chan and I decided to offer an ‘Algorithmic Cryptocurrency Trading Course with Python’ workshop in March 2017. We decided to involve Gemini created by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to give students the opportunity to create, test and leave with real code.

Cointelegraph: Who can attend it?

NK: The target audience includes retail traders, hedge funds, programmers and crypto enthusiasts. It’s a six-hour hands-on workshop where participants will use Gemini Exchange’s Sandbox environment, which offers full exchange functionality using test funds, for testing API connectivity and the execution of strategies. Some topics covered include asynchronous messaging, streaming and collection of data and strategy development.

I have been an active algorithmic crypto trader for some time now and I studied to become a Certified Ethereum Developer which allowed me to get close to the nuts and bolts of the trading system.

“The goal of the workshop is to help raise awareness of crypto. With exchanges acting as the on/off ramps between digital and fiat currency, more liquidity at the exchanges will ultimately help with the adoption of digital assets. This is a good thing – I am a believer and I am long crypto.”

Cointelegraph: What attracted you to go with the Gemini platform?

NK: Since the collapse of Mt GOX there has been broad nervousness around security and the Winklevoss brothers have focused their energies on working with regulators while looking to deliver better compliance, anti-money laundering checks and balances and they have assembled an impressive team at Gemini. It will be up to our students whether or not they continue to support Gemini but the development opportunity as a sandbox is a good option for us.

It’s amazing how the liquidity can disappear so quickly!

Cointelegraph:  What do you think about the recent news from China regarding margin trading and fake volumes?

NK: Yes, this is a problem and so is the reporting of fake liquidity. I have done some order book analysis and when calculating the average price, at a certain depth, the average filled price can be very different to the expected price. It’s amazing how the liquidity can disappear so quickly! If we want digital currencies and the tokenization of real assets to become mainstream, the exchanges will need to be regulated and audited.

“Another big issue I see is with customer support. On several occasions, I have had issues and it’s taken the exchange several days to respond to my urgent emails. It’s appalling! I suspect some of the exchanges are run on a shoestring.”

Cointelegraph:  Have you written any Blogs and Papers about trading Bitcoin and other cryptos such as Ether, Monero and Dash?

NK: In Ernie’s new book ‘Machine Trading: Deploying Computer Algorithms To Conquer the Markets’ which comes out later in 2017 there is a chapter devoted to Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are important to the financial ecosystem and they are here to stay…

Trading workshops

Nick Kirk is an active algorithmic crypto trader based south of London and has more than ten years experience developing automating and integrating systems for Investment Banks and Asset management firms. Prior to this he taught algorithmic crypto trading at the CQF Institute, worked at IBM and Siemens Labs where he came across Ernie Chan.

These guys have a very impressive CV, it certainly feels given Ernie and Nicks huge experience and reputation in algorithmic trading, their workshops are going the generate a lot of interest and bring more traders into the crypto space which will help build the community and increase volumes.