In a world that is rapidly trending back towards being more decentralized, the potential of blockchain and other DeFi-based applications is beginning to gain significant momentum in offering innovative approaches that reach far beyond the cryptoasset space. As part of a global trading firm that was an early entrant in cryptoasset markets and blockchain technology, Cumberland is excited to help bring these solutions to fruition and advance infrastructure in a market that is continuously evolving.
Coincover sets the standard for safety and protection in the crypto environment, providing loss prevention technology and theft cover. David Janczewski, Coincover’s CEO, opens up to us about the inspiration that led to the security service and how their approach is becoming a global standard in the industry. What inspired Coincover? I was lucky enough to be involved in a “Digital Gold” project at the UK’s Royal Mint as part of a project to investigate the future of money.
How does DRW stay in front of the latest cutting-edge trading technology trends? Our experts have a variety of technical expertise, and always ensure the firm has access to the latest information in the industry. Typically, this information sharing is done through training, participating in conferences and regularly meeting with companies that are providing bleeding edge technology. Access to cutting-edge technology is not the only critical success factor in this highly competitive industry.
I’ve been at DRW for a little over a year now and I’ve been doing systems administration, DevOps, and Linux kernel debugging for almost 25 years. Like most systems administrators, we’re generalists on the Linux Services Team, but my primary focus is writing code to automate our systems administration processes. Because our trading desks and developers rely on infrastructure that is reliable, ensuring deployed Linux systems are in a consistent state contributes to DRW’s success in the markets.
What are your team’s responsibilities? Most days, my team and I are facilitating transactions around the globe. On those days, I spend most of my time improving existing calculations and processes, conducting research and developing new tools. The market is very fast-paced – and some days the markets can be pretty unpredictable – on those days I work close with the trading teams to ensure our risks are in line with the market conditions and add rigor into measurements by applying quantitative techniques.
With large-scale tech projects involving office servers, infrastructure servers, AWS and other cloud-based products, Michelle enabled DRW to be efficient and smart in how we migrate our systems, which includes getting buy-in from our senior leaders on making the change. She’s a trusted mentor to engineers not only on her team but beyond and has built trust throughout the organization by openly sharing ideas and best practices to help the operations of other groups run more efficiently.
At STATS, Dr. Helen Sun is responsible for all things product, engineering, and design, including her company’s artificial intelligence (AI) group. STATS, a sports data intelligence company, pioneered the space of sports data and analytics. In short - any sports related questions you might have can be answered by STATS. Currently, Dr. Sun is in a unique role, as her company prepares to transition from data analytics to AI powered software.
As part of DRW’s Speaker Series, our Chicago office hosted four thought leaders from across the data space. Led by Kim Trautmann, Head of DRW Venture Capital, panelists discussed data management and how the data space is evolving. In recent years, the data space has seen a huge influx in new technology, and not only a much higher amount of data but also a higher quality. That’s how Rachel Carpenter, CEO of Intrinio, sees the data space evolving.
This series spotlights different people across DRW Venture Capital’s investment portfolio. Read more about our portfolio companies and the unique roles they play in the fintech space. Shane Wiley is Chief Privacy Officer at Cuebiq, a consumer insights and measurement company that specializes in offline brand intelligence to help clients win market share and increase revenue. What is your role at Cuebiq? I serve as Cuebiq’s Chief Privacy Officer. I have been with the company since August 2018.
It’s not hard to find a good story in the tech industry. The problem is that due to the industry’s staggering gender gap, most of these stories center on the struggles and accomplishments of men. Stories about starting a company after dropping out of college or while working out of a garage command attention, but they’re not the only ones capable of inspiring and exciting the technologists of tomorrow. Read more at Built In Chicago.
Carissa Miller had just finished her master’s degree in computer science and was ready to leave the world of classrooms behind her. Previously a high school math teacher on the verge of burnout, she’d decided to make the leap to software engineering with little technical experience in her past and a lot of hope for more varied waters in her future. Read more at FairyGodBoss.
DRW plans to increase its Singapore headcount from its current level of 40, and many of the new recruits will be technologists, says Brook Teeter, DRW’s head of Asia, adding that he prefers not to set precise headcount targets. “You don’t necessarily need finance sector experience to join us as a technologist, which means we’re competing with technology firms for talent as well as financial institutions,” he adds. “We’ve found that candidates from the technology industry – whether at established players or startups – are very keen to learn about financial markets and apply their skills in our industry.
Those conversations “about different blockchain or distributed-ledger concepts” led to the formation that year of Digital Asset. Read more at Institutional Investor.
Chicago has become the epicenter of bitcoin mania. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Cboe Global Markets were the first exchanges to launch bitcoin futures at the end of 2017. And one of the largest traders of cryptocurrencies is Chicago’s own DRW. Since the firm launched in 1992, one of its key principles has been diversification. That’s where DRW’s chief information officer, Seth Thomson, comes into the picture. The Quantitative Risk Management (QRM) and Citadel alumnus joined DRW in July 2007.
To make sure that the impact of their efforts are maximized, many local tech companies make giving back part of their cultural DNA. We asked a few of them about the kinds of work they do and to tell us more about their favorite initiatives in 2017. Read more at Built in Chicago
That dynamic was on full display Wednesday night at SPiN Chicago during the fourth annual T4Youth Table Tennis Tech Tournament More than 400 people from Chicago’s trading and tech community gathered for a night of fun competition all benefiting the Chicago Tech Academy (ChiTech), a charter school in Chicago focused on STEM education for minority and low-income students. The event, co-founded by Objective Paradigm, 3Points Communications and SPR, raised more than $100,000 for the second year in a row.
Chelsea: I’m a senior in computer science at a small liberal arts school. I love my school, but the opportunities in technology are more limited than at large schools known for computer science. The Grace Hopper Celebrationof Women in Computing is the perfect place for me to get the type of exposure and networking that I need to start my career. The second I got there, I hit the ground running.
T4Youth is an annual ping pong tournament that brings Chicago’s top tech companies together and raises money for the Chicago Tech Academy, or ChiTech, a nonprofit high school that teaches STEM concepts to minority and low-income students. The amount of funds T4Youth raised has increased year over year, from $50,000 in 2014 to over $100,000 last year. Now in its fourth year, T4Youth expects to involve 48 teams and hundreds of attendees with a goal of raising $175,000 in the team building, networking and fundraising night out.
Read more at Built In Chicago.
I’ve been working in the financial sector since the late 90’s. I started as a consultant for an accounting software company before moving over to the trading industry. Immediately, I knew this was the right industry for me. I was surrounded by intelligent, driven people who were always pioneering to find novel solutions to technical problems. When I came to DRW, I was challenged to establish the infrastructure and processes we need to truly compete in electronic trading.
When I started in the trading industry in the 90s, $2 brokers on the floor of the NYSE just started using these big handheld devices. The technology was dismissed as clunky and too advanced. However, once we all realized that the quotes were being fed directly to the market makers while simultaneously being fed upstairs, we knew a revolution had been born. Fast forward to today and we still see that in how DRW integrates our technology into trades where it makes sense.
“RGM is a well-known and well-respected market participant with a talented team and trading strategies that are complementary to our own,” said Don Wilson, Founder and CEO of DRW. “Bringing our companies together creates significant opportunity in equities trading, research and technology infrastructure, which will bolster liquidity and innovation in those markets. We are excited to work with the RGM team and become part of the Austin community.” “DRW is an industry leader known for being on the right side of innovation in the markets,” said Richard Gorelick, Co-Founder and CEO of RGM.
From an economic standpoint, it goes without saying that diversification is a good idea. If one market or strategy dips, the overall business can remain healthy. This mindset of continued diversification also shapes the experiences of our employees. In their own words, here’s how: We learn from each other We hire for curiosity, and the diversification of DRW makes way for that curiosity to grow. With teams trading varied products in many markets and developing in multiple languages, there’s a lot to be learned across the firm.
T4Youth — the four “T”s stand for “tech table tennis tournament” — was founded in 2014 by trading technology recruiting agency Objective Paradigm, SPR Consulting and futures industry public relations firm 3Points Communications with the aim of turning technologists’ common love of ping pong into a way to give back to the community. The event supports the Chicago Tech Academy (ChiTech), a local high school dedicated to providing low-income students with technology and entrepreneurship skills.
It’s hard to develop an intuition about what is fast versus what is simpler to write, test and maintain, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of not confirming an assumption. I once traced unexpectedly poor performance back to code that purportedly prefaulted some memory into the process. In fact, the compiler was smart enough to notice the code wasn’t using the memory it was touching and happily optimized the whole prefaulting code away!
DRW: Why are you so passionate about C++ versus other languages? Jason Turner: With C++ we know exactly what the compiler is doing, we know exactly what it’s going to execute when we go to run our programs. You’re not going to get that combination of safety and performance out of any other language. It gives us a lot of compile time guarantees. If we are writing a program that’s doing something that doesn’t make sense, there is a good chance the compiler will catch it for us.
Globex allowed people anywhere in the world to buy and sell futures as easily as the traders shouting in Chicago’s octagonal pits. The technology also signalled the beginning of the end of the open outcry system that had been operating in Chicago since the 19th century. Yet, while the marketplaces have largely become virtual, Chicago has retained its role as capital of the listed derivatives industry. Read more at Financial Times.
Bob: Chicago is home to more than 54,000 technologists and was named the top U.S. city for growth-stage technology companies. This presents a huge opportunity for Chicago’s brightest students – like the ones at DRW College Prep –to build their skills and tap this vibrant job market. I believe strongly that giving high schoolers access to more technical training, especially computer programming, is one of the most effective ways to prepare them for the future.
From the place at the Chicago Board of Trade building where pits have now been dismantled, a new enterprise supporting “fintech” may rise. A powerful pack of business leaders, led by CME Group CEO Phupinder Gill, DRW Trading founder Don Wilson and Morningstar CEO Joe Mansueto, are brainstorming a number of financial technology ideas, including possibly a Chicago hub for such startups. Read more at Crain’s Chicago Business.
Founded in 1992 to identify and capture trading opportunities by leveraging technology, research and risk management, the firm has always focused on technology as key factor for success. Today, DRW employs technologists in all parts of the business and software engineers work closely with traders and researchers to choose the right technology solutions. According to Built In, Chicago is home to more 54,000 technology workers and over 3,200 digital companies.
It all began with some water-cooler chat among two employees about how one was volunteering his time at Year Up. He explained how the organization does not have many resources or experienced persons who know the Mac environment and had to bring in some Macs from DRW just to give the students some hands-on experience and context around what he was discussing in his lectures. Feeling inspired, his colleague wanted to help and asked where he could be of the most help.