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Bitfinex launches Shimmer to help root out market abuse 

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Digital asset trading platform Bitfinex has deployed a proprietary surveillance tool to combat market abuse and help promote orderly trading on the exchange.

Digital asset trading platform Bitfinex has deployed a proprietary surveillance tool to combat market abuse and help promote orderly trading on the exchange.

Dubbed Shimmer — a term also used to describe a bee’s way of defending its hive — the market alert and reporting tool will identify and investigate possible manipulative behaviours and suspicious trading practices on the exchange, improving market integrity and visibility. Shimmer has been designed to operate seamlessly with Hive, Bitfinex’s distributed, multi-threaded and multi-process matching engine built around speed, stability and scalability.

The surveillance tool leverages the expertise that the exchange’s market surveillance team has gathered since the exchange’s inception in 2012. Bitfinex’s team of specialists will be alerted to incidences of potential improper trading activity on the platform via email summaries of suspicious trading patterns across all trading pairs listed on the exchange, including futures and margin funding products. 

Shimmer will help combat abusive practices in the market such as wash trading, where a trader buys and sells an instrument with the intent of misleading the market, and layering, where a trader uses non-bona fide orders to mislead others regarding actual supply or demand in the market.

“Comprehensive market and trade surveillance capabilities are integral to operating a leading cryptocurrency exchange,” says Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex. “To meet the complex needs of an evolving digital asset class and to protect our sophisticated participants, Bitfinex has chosen to develop its own state-of-the-art surveillance system. This will help to assure that potentially manipulative practices are rooted out and suspicious behaviour detected.”

Shimmer, which is designed to scale with the size of the exchange, utilizes the Rust programming language for the high-speed processing of voluminous trade and order data. “This tool is especially relevant for our futures and margin funding products,” says Ardoino. “We chose to use the Rust programming language for its execution speed and programming safety. The Rust package manager and ecosystem allowed us to be up and running with a workable market detection tool in a short time frame.”

The launch of Shimmer further underlines Bitfinex’s status as the go-to place for institutional investors to trade in the cryptocurrency space. The exchange’s sophisticated Application Program Interface and intuitive, user-friendly User Interface is also attracting professional investors with increasing levels of sophistication to the platform. 

Bitfinex’s scalable, high-performance infrastructure and connectivity supports a variety of trading strategies. Bitfinex is also leveraging its position as a one-stop shop for crypto trading offering a variety of services, including margin trading with up to 5x leverage. The exchange also offers users access to a perpetual swap contract offering 100x leverage through its affiliate, iFinex Financial Technologies Limited.
 

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