Blockchain is a technology that we are hearing much more of in the world of finance, but how can it benefit traders? The Armchair Trader’s Editor, Stuart Fieldhouse, talks to Tim Hughes, CEO at TigerWit about the business and his thoughts on the future of the industry.
Who are TigerWit?
We see ourselves as an innovative fintech disrupter. We’re looking at what’s wrong, broken or just could be done better, bringing in new technology where it offers the benefits of improving legacy systems. For example, the latest partnership we announced with ClearBank, the first clearing bank to launch in the UK for more than 250 years, shows how we are partnering with the innovators in finance and looking to change the way the industry operates for the benefit of traders, brokers and regulators.
Who are the team behind TigerWit
We’re combining FX industry veterans with experts from different fields (technology, retail, auto, education, military). We believe this breadth of experience will fast track our innovation and improve things for traders. Behind most visible people are a large team, in particular our tech team based in Asia, all of whom are taking a fresh look at how, with our experience and technology, we can bring a better offering to the industry.
At TigerWit we positively encourage flexible working as I am a firm believer that this helps bring the best out in people and I for one try to lead by example, which is why I volunteer twice a month for the RNLI on the River Thames. Not only is this physically challenging, but it is incredibly rewarding. I have seen and experienced some pretty eye-opening things on the Thames, stuff that that you would normally expect to see in a film or drama on television as I’m sure you can imagine, but that’s a story for another day.
You have worked in the industry for many years. What is it that differentiates TigerWit from other brokers?
TigerWit focuses on the user experience, for example our mobile trading app has been built by traders for traders. We look to strip away complexity to make the interaction more rewarding. By bringing new technologies to the industry, specifically blockchain, we are positioning ourselves at the forefront of technological innovations that will transform online trading for the better, especially during this time of greater regulatory scrutiny.
With an emphasis on new technology, what are the benefits for your clients?
Our distributed transaction ledger – an immutable record of all transactions – is built on blockchain technology, which means that as the broker we could never change any deal after it has happened. This fundamentally raises the bar and offers a new level of trust and transparency to clients in an industry where not all brokers’ intentions are pure.
But this is just a taste of what we are planning on building, leveraging off blockchain technology and we expect to make more announcements as we continue to build in the coming months and years.
How do you view the current ESMA regulations?
ESMA has undoubtedly disrupted the European market place and firms are responding. I question whether the intervention is actually in the clients’ interests, particularly when a very predictable consequence is existing brokers getting ‘offshore’ licences (which vary in quality) and continuing to recruit European clients. There are rules against this – by which TigerWit is bound and operates in Europe strictly under its FCA licence – but they are hard to enforce. I’m not sure that clients dealing with a less-regulated entity, holding less-secure client money is a desirable outcome.
64% of retail investors lose money with you which is much lower than many other brokers. Can you tell us why?
We believe that our mobile trading app is second to none and it is perhaps as a result of this that by making it easier to trade on the app, clients are making fewer mistakes. However, it’s hard to tell precisely. It may be because one of our most popular traded markets, gold, has experienced quite low volatility of late and in all honesty, despite what’s been going on at a macro level with Brexit and trade wars, overall volatility in the markets has been quite low which provides good trading conditions for clients.
What kind of trader do you feel is best suited to TigerWit?
Under our umbrella of products, TigerWit can support most traders but our sweet spot, and main focus is on clients who want to trade through an app. In our app, we offer a clean, easy to follow UX with the markets 95%+ of clients want to trade. With our Experience account, complete novices can ‘try before they buy’, but we expect to attract a lot of experienced clients who want a new, fresh interface.
Where do you see the industry going over the next two years?
This depends on jurisdiction. There is not yet a ‘new normal’ in Europe and this will possibly take a couple of years to fully play out. But it will look very different in terms of size, main players and margins. Globally, there is still huge demand and growth and universally, where interventionist rules do not restrict it, there is a timeless demand amongst an aspirational demographic in every geography and culture.
Where would you like to see TigerWit in the next two years?
I would like to see TigerWit firmly established as progressive, reputable and a major player in global FX. We are always going to look more like a ‘challenger’, which is totally by design as we want to stand out. We have a detailed roadmap to continue to deliver exciting innovations, so watch this space. Whilst it’s very hard to know where we see exactly where TigerWit will be in two years, we believe the industry landscape will be very different and we aim to be a major part in shaping it.