As a next step to take bitcoin trading to the mainstream, Coinbase Exchange has added support for the FIX (Financial Information eXchange) protocol.
Coinbase’s bitcoin exchange launched about a month-and-a-half ago to much fanfare, claiming to be the first regulated venue. It has since captured roughly 2% of the global bitcoin trading market, and currently ranks fourth, just behind BTC-e, in USD-based volumes.
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The FIX protocol was launched in 1992 to increase the speed and efficiency of order execution in the financial markets. It carries information related to order submissions, cancellations and confirmation. It is a self-describing protocol, much like the newer versions of XML.
It has become the standard messaging protocol in equity markets and is gaining traction in FX, fixed income and derivatives markets. It is used by mutual funds, investment banks, stock exchanges and ECNs. More recently, it added support for algorithmic trading.
Coinbase is making the feature available for traders already using software that incorporates the FIX protocol. The company pointed out that other APIs such as REST and WebSockets also provide full functionality, the FIX protocol, in essence, targeting professional traders.