Tullett Prebon becomes the largest interdealer broker to offer comprehensive digital currency data

Tullett Prebon Information (TPI) has announced an agreement to distribute Brave New Coin (BNC) digital currency data. “This is the first time such a comprehensive view of the entire digital currency landscape has been made available to financial markets,” states the announcement.

- Andrew Reeve, TPI Head of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

Tullett Prebon is an Interdealer Broker (IDB) with a long history dating back over 150 years. The specialist financial intermediary is headquartered in London, and typically facilitates transactions of large, usually illiquid, blocks of securities that are generally unable to be traded on an exchange.

While listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, the company has offices in 24 countries and over 2,600 brokers and staff, providing brokerage services to clients, including commercial and investment banks.

TPI is the company's Market Data division, a wholly-owned subsidiary. The division distributes independent, real-time price information from the global OTC financial and commodity markets. The company provides data to clients via the web, traditional third-party channels, and as direct feeds.

The data includes impartial pricing across a range of financial sectors, and their related derivative markets. Inside Market Data Awards named TPI “Best Data Provider” in the broker category this year, the company's sixth consecutive win.

- Tullett Prebon Information

TPI’s Spot FX now includes digital currency data from BNC, a privately-held data and research company founded in 2014, with staff in New Zealand, Australia and the US. The company offers Market Data, Research, and solutions for the financial services sector. BNC is focused on tracking and standardizing market, network and industry information in order to deliver high quality news, rates, indices, analytics and insights to a global client base.

“We are starting to see more acceptance of cryptocurrencies with companies such as Microsoft and Amazon accepting them as payment,” stated TPI’s Reeve. "Because the liquidity pools are very dispersed, it does kind of operate like an OTC instrument,” Reeve continued. “We know our customers want to see a consolidated view of the market.”

The Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) is a proprietary BNC product. The price index is designed to provide a single, reliable, fair price for Bitcoin in US Dollars, based on the majority of trusted global liquidity. Spot FX subscribers now have access to a free version of the BLX spot price, which is delayed by five minutes. TPI's customers all have the option to upgrade with their preferred distributor, or directly from TPI, to get the BLX live feed and historic data.

The BLX is maintained through constant indexing and cultivating of the most liquid bitcoin exchanges which meet index criteria. The constituents are changed over time as their trading and trust levels qualify for entry. The BLX methodology takes a quantitative approach to factor in bitcoin’s geographically dispersed liquidity across CNY, USD and EUR trading activity.

TPI will also offer spot prices for an additional top 50 digital currencies, updated every five minutes. Everything is “fully integrated now,” said Fran Strajnar, BNC's CEO. Under the agreement between BNC and TPI, more than 50 digital currencies’ data are being offered.

- Fran Strajnar, BNC CEO

TPI services institutional clients, both directly and through a growing number of major distribution channels. The company's flagship partners are Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. TPI is dedicating resources specifically for the two outlets Data permissioning requests, at a technology center in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Data permissioning ensures that users have the correct permission to view the data through any of its channel partners.

Thomson Reuters report lists TPI as a key third party provider for data including FX, Rates, and Credit. TPI's historical tick-based price data has been available through Thomson Reuters' Datascope Tick History since 2009.

- Tullett Prebon Information

However, the sector has recently gone through large-scale changes, with several consolidations among four of the largest players. After completing a merger with brokerage service provider, GFI Group in January, BGC Partners signed an agreement to buy Sunrise Brokers in July.

Meanwhile, ICAP and Tullett Prebon are waiting for regulatory approval to create TP ICAP, which would then become the world’s largest IDB. Tullett Prebon signed an agreement to acquire the hybrid voice broking and information business of ICAP last November, in an all-share deal valued at about £1.1 billion.

ICAP plans to switch to a purely electronic business, rebranding itself as NEX Group. The change, "Will transform our position in the global brokerage market," Tullett Prebon stated in its 2015 annual report. Over 2,500 talented ICAP employees from 35 locations in 22 countries will join the new entity, which will employ around 5,500 staff, 3,245 of which will be brokers.

- Tullett Prebon