Opening Cross: Disrupt or Die (Or Rather, Prepare to Be Disrupted)


The new economy of services like Uber and Airbnb are like Marmite: you either love them or hate them. But whichever side of the fence you sit on, you can’t deny that both have proved disruptive forces in their respective industries, and that the end result should be a better deal for consumers—whether or not it’s these providers who deliver the better deal, or whether they merely force incumbents to respond more competitively.

Waterstechnology financial market data cloud xigniteOne such disruptive force profiled in this week’s issue is Airex, a provider of an online marketplace of third-party content that the vendor says “democratizes” access to information and tools, and which Interactive Brokers is using to build a co-branded marketplace of content services that its institutional and retail clients alike can access, and which will complement—and perhaps ultimately dwarf—its own existing Investors’ Marketplace portal of third-party content.

Airex’s model is not to be an aggregator, but rather a storefront from which traders and investors can choose research, trade ideas, analytics, and so on. And while that’s  a relatively new concept in the capital markets, it’s one that most people are already familiar with on a daily basis—think or iTunes.

“I think that for the long-term foreseeable future, there will continue to be a market for the large, monolithic terminal businesses. I don’t see these going away anytime soon or ever. However, while Bloomberg, for example, has around 325,000 terminals, that’s still a tiny fraction of the global demand for financial information,” says Airex chief executive Stephen Kuhn. “What Airex does is eliminate the fixed cost of sales, so it frees up supply and demand… and gives even the smallest investor a user interface with one username and password to access everything. It democratizes supply and demand, just as every other industry—books, music and travel, for example—has already been disrupted.

The financial services industry has not yet reached that level of disruption and efficiency.”

This isn’t entirely true, insofar as the retail financial services industry actually has undergone disruptive change. It’s far easier now for the average investor to get their hands on data and analytics that were once reserved for trading floor professionals, enabled by the proliferation of relatively high-performance mobile computing devices and the app store model of information dissemination and consumption.

However, in capital markets, this level of plug-and-play data access is still some way off, though the key foundations have been laid and forward-thinking architects are now figuring out how to take the next steps—one of which may be more widespread adoption of the OpenMAMA open-source middleware initiative, which will make it easier for firms to deploy vendor-agnostic, best-of-breed data infrastructures that allow them to splice together whatever data sources they want, rather than the ones their platform ties them to.

Am I saying that we’ll see legacy on-site market data platforms disappear entirely? Like Kuhn, I think this is unlikely for the forseeable future, especially since there is so little competition in that area. However, since competitive advantage is increasingly determined by what intelligence you can derive from data rather than how quickly you can get it from one point to another on your infrastructure, there’s no reason to cling to your on-site platform unless you’ve achieved some top-secret, game-changing goal with it. So why not shift it to run remotely, or in the cloud, or on a utility basis, leaving you free to focus on real areas of competition?

Disruption is always a tough sell: ask companies like Xignite, who have led the way on new models for market data distribution, having to carve out specific use cases on its way to achieving more enterprise-level uses, such as its new CloudStreaming service. But when given the choice, why not embrace disruption, rather than resist it? After all, when was the last time a taxi ride gave you a competitive advantage?

Source: Waters Technology


In the foreign metal market and the world of international rates, currencies play the crucial role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are commonly used around the world in order to get a metal rate. Some companies that offer precious metal live and historical rates have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate current and historical metal rates, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.

In order to know about precious metals live and historical rates, there’s a lot of APIs available online, and if you want to try one, Barchart is going to be one of your first options. But if you take a look at what else is in the market, you’ll find alternatives so many great alternatives:

Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform

Xignite Market Data as a Service was one of the first market data services built to run in AWS and they are one of the few vendors that is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with a Financial Services Competency.

With more than a decade of cloud expertise in building, scaling and operating cloud-based market data technology, it is no surprise that leading financial services and capital markets firms rely on this company to empower their journey to the cloud. Their Metals API Service offers real-time prices and quotes for metals including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and other base metals. In addition to real-time precious metals prices, the service provides daily London Fixing prices as well as historical precious metal prices and metal news. 

Xignite Cloud APIs are sourced from leading providers such as FactSet and Morningstar as well as Xignite’s own curated, high-quality data.

Read the article Top 3 Alternatives for Barchart Precious Metals Rates


Each year, Bobsguide asks the market to vote for fintech companies they believe stand out from the competition – those who have gone the extra mile in terms of development and servicing their clients. Xignite is proud to be listed as the "Best API Management" vendor on the Bobsguide 2020 Rankings.

Read article on Bobsguide


Web services data provider Xignite captured the AFTAs judges’ attention on the infrastructure front with its release of Xignite Enterprise Microservices in July 2020, a suite of cloud-based microservices for data management, storage and distribution in the cloud, designed to help financial firms migrate from monolithic legacy data architectures to more agile and less expensive cloud services and data sources.

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Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today revealed the results of its collaboration with StockCharts, a leading technical analysis and financial charting platform for online retail investors. The collaboration involved a move from an on-premise market data provider to Xignite’s cloud-native technology hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Download the case study containing the full results.

StockCharts requires vast quantities of financial data to power its visualization, charting and tracking tools, which investors use to analyze the markets to help with investment decisions. The company was frustrated by the limits of its on-premise market data center, which was forcing the team to make architectural decisions based on what its data center could handle in terms of speed and storage, not on their technology. Its previous market data provider was just starting to build out some cloud offerings, but they were far away from what the business required. StockCharts decided to migrate its infrastructure to the AWS cloud and partner with Xignite to gain access to endlessly scalable market and financial data delivered through innovative cloud APIs.

The collaboration made an immediate impact as StockCharts was able to expand its offerings and customer base by pursuing growth strategies enabled by Xignite’s cloud-based approach, which provides easy access to data and eliminates architectural limits on storage and speed.

The pandemic provided further validation. Seattle-based StockCharts was in one of the first areas hit by COVID-19 and was forced to quickly shut down its office. Pandemic-driven market volatility followed and StockCharts customers wanted to visualize what was happening. The company’s ability to scale quickly and accommodate a high volume of new requests would not have been possible without Xignite.

“The move to the AWS cloud and Xignite has unlocked tremendous new potential for us in a lot of architectural ways, and has given us a lot of data options that we could not even consider before,” said Grayson Roze, Vice President of Operations at StockCharts. “It relieved us of the burden of figuring out how to source things. Instead, we know exactly where we need to go to get the data and can access it instantly. That is a huge, huge benefit for our business.”

“We are proud to have played a role in transforming how StockCharts approaches data,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder of Xignite. “The events of this year unleashed a massive spike in retail trading and a host of other unexpected forces that reinforced the need for financial services firms to leverage the cloud. Despite the disruption of this year, StockCharts was positioned for success, and we look forward to continuing to deliver our financial and market data solutions to the industry at large.”


Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit or follow on Twitter @xignite