Speculative Tokenised Trading Exchange, otherwise known as SPECTRE, is a new and innovative platform designed to rid the financial market of the ethical issues it faces.
SPECTRE was first developed in the fourth quarter of 2016 by Karan Khemani and Zisis Skoulouds of Neuchatel Ltd. Both have strong backgrounds in the financial world. Khemani once held executive positions at companies such as J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs. He is a blockchain enthusiast who received his BSc and MSc in Decisions Sciences from the London School of Economics (LSE). Khenamani is responsible for the design, architecture, and expansion of SPECTRE into the marketplace. Skoulouds is an electrical engineer who has previously worked at INO SA & Siemens where he designed and implemented their ERP software. Skoulouds received his MSc in Decisions Sciences from the LSE and is responsible for the financial forecasting and risk management of SPECTRE’s liquidity pool. These two, with the creation of SPECTRE, seek to rid the financial marketplace of the ethical issues of the traditional methodology.
The traditional financial trading model is rife with unethicality. The current industry loss ratio is 70-90% and this is in large part due to the manner in which traders are taken advantage of by brokers. These middlemen, whose job it is to look out for the interests of their clients, have been known to practice less than ethical methods of increasing their commission. They can prevent or hinder withdrawals, manipulate trades by dishonestly reporting market prices, trade on behalf of the trader without their explicit permission, and otherwise taking advantage of both experienced and inexperienced traders alike.
The lack of transparency within the traditional market is due in large part to the practices of brokers. Brokers, in the traditional system, make the majority of their commission off of the loss of traders. This gives them the motivation to use a combination of unethical tactics in order to maximize their profits.
The brokers who use these unethical tactics often offer bonuses to new traders without alerting them to an important detail. Their money is now tied in with the bonus within the brokers’ account and, until they make a certain percentage of a profit above the bonus, their money cannot be withdrawn. Others are more forthcoming but still seek to prevent withdrawals and will overwhelm their traders with new paperwork and enthusiastic urges to place more money into their trading account. There have even been reports of traders withdrawing their money only for it to never materialize into their bank account.
Brokers also have been known to dishonestly report current marketplace prices. The feeds from which they receive their prices are not readily available to traders which allow brokers to manipulate the numbers until a trader’s win turns into a loss. This allows the broker to further manipulate the trade by hedging against the trader’s bet.
SPECTRE seeks to disrupt this by eliminating the roots of the problem; the brokers and the lack of transparency they foster. Oto Suvary, Director of R&D at SPECTRE writes:
“Because we remove B-Book brokerages and replace them with immutable smart contracts, we are addressing a major need with our prediction market platform by preventing many forms of global financial fraud.”
SPECTRE is built upon Ethereum blockchain technology to foster transparency by removing the broker from the system entirely. Ethereum allows traders to use crypto-wallets to invest in the liquidity pool, rather than investing directly into a broker account, which makes human intervention by SPECTRE within trader accounts impossible.
The liquidity pool, along with not having a direct access to trader accounts, is directly funded by token purchases. Each trader that invests in the liquidity pool, irregardless of the token they invest in, has a share in it.
SPECTRE has two distinct token types for their investors to buy. Their Dividend Token, also known as D-SPECTRE coin or D-Token, is the base token investors can buy. It pays out a 2% dividend, allocated monthly, to all D-token holders for each time that a trader makes a trade. SPECTRE also gets a 2% cut, allocated in the form of a technology fee, with each trade. This allows profits to be made off of volume rather than solely from win/loss ratios. The second token type is their Utility Token. This token is a premium token, known as U-SPECTRE coins or U-Tokens, that do not get the typical 2% dividend payout. Traders who buy this token instead receive a 1-5% higher trade out pay in comparison to the d-tokens. They also get access to more sophisticated smart contract options such as exotic trade types, knock-in-knock-outs, barriers, ladders, and other options. 3% of SPECTRE’s profits from fees are additionally devoted to buying back U-tokens through their buyback program. This allows the dynamics of the liquidity pool to be changed according to the daily needs of the platform. This, coupled with their adaptive trading program, increases transparency within the financial marketplace.
Their adaptive trading program uses a variety of algorithms to protect traders and promote transparency. Processes such as emotion control, risk management, and trade opportunity recognition are managed by these algorithms. These processes assist in keeping track of traders strengths, weaknesses, and other statistics which are useful to the improvement of the trading experience. SPECTRE keeps track of these and alerts the trader if they’re about to make a costly mistake. Traders are also allowed to monitor the live value and fluctuations of the liquidity pool along with the dividend payouts made. This, unlike traditional models where this is not possible, allows the trader to be completely certain no fraud has occurred. With SPECTRE’s transparency, traders can have complete faith in the fact that their tokens are being used as intended. This increases transparency and protects the trader from fraud and unethical behavior.
SPECTRE’s token sale starts on the 17th of November 2017 at 12:00 PM GMT and ends on the 10th of December 2017 at 11:59 AM GMT. The public alpha went live in September 2017 and the connection to the live Ethereum main net environment is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.
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