Dan Stroot

NY FinTech Community is Thriving

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2 min read

I was reading up on the "MEAN" stack: Mongo, Express, Angular and Node and came across a blog post from Francesca Krihely about the FinTech hackathon in NY from back in April, 2013.

This interested me because as a former "insider" in a large financial services company I can see clearly how open source code and tooling is replacing more proprietry code and tooling (for example .net/visual studio) but it requires an entirely different skill set for internal developers.

For the corporate economics to work the cost of the "new" platform has to be not just lower (or more productive) than the old, but low enough to also fund the transition (i.e. reskilling or hiring of the types of developers that would be needed) as well as overcome corporate inertia. The hard part is predicting "when".

I get the sense that the momentum is picking up. The NY hackathon atracted over 400 people and the apps/apis were very interesting (you can read Francesca's post for more) but all built on a modern technology stack.

The underlying technology stacks of companies like Twitter, Facebook, eBay, etc. are designed for millions of events per minute. There is an obvious parallel to trading technology where you need to deliver real-time news, tick data, messages, etc. to a user interface that allows for quick understanding and reaction.

One of the companies I discovered is OpenFin. Since I used to deliver equity trading applications to global trading desks I know the challenges well. I really like the approach here and it's clear to me this is what the future holds. This is similar to Caplin.com and others.

It is really exciting to see all the innovation!

Using Caplin's technology for example I can show a simple example feed for Apple Stock with a little javascript:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://platform.caplin.com/sljs/streamlink.js"></script>
    // Get the streamLink.
    var streamLink = caplin.streamlink.StreamLinkFactory.create({
                  username: "pat",
                  password: "cappass",
      liberator_urls: "rttp://platform.caplin.com"
    // Define the subscription listener.
    var subscriptionListener = {
      onSubscriptionStatus : function(subscription, event) {
        log(subscription.getSubject() + " is now " + event.getStatus());
      onSubscriptionError : function(subscription, event) {
        log("Error: Subject " + subscription.getSubject() + " is " + event.getError());
      onRecordUpdate : function(subscription, event) {
        //Place each updated field into a map of all events.
        //This will act as a cache of all the current values,
        //not just the values updated in this event
        for (field in event.getFields())
          fields[field] = event.getFields()[field];
    // Display the latest record values.
    var fields = {};
    function render() {
       document.getElementById("recordLog").innerHTML = symbol + "\t" +
        fields["BestBid"] + "\t" + fields["BestAsk"] + "\t" + fields["VolumeAcc"] + "\t" + fields["NetChange"] + "\t" + fields["Time"] + "\t" + fields["Last"];
    // Subscribe to the record.
    var symbol = "AAPL";
    var subject = "/EXAMPLES/PRICING/TYPE1/" + symbol;
    streamLink.subscribe(subject, subscriptionListener);
    // Connect.
<div class="container">
<!-- <div class="container" onunload="streamLink.disconnect();"> -->
  <p>Symbol, Bid, Ask, Volume, Net Change, Time, Last Trade</p>
  <p id="recordLog" style="color:blue"></p>

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