Precision Time Protocol

With impending market regulations, such as MiFID II in Europe and SEC Rule 613 in the US (due to come into force by 2018), electronic trading firms need to start thinking now about making the changes they will need to remain compliant and meet technical standards in relation to clock synchronisation.

A core regulatory requirement for all trading firms and liquidity venues will be to timestamp trades so that they can be traced back to when they occurred relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This will help regulatory bodies investigating market events or suspected abuse of the markets.

RTS 25, the specific technical standard relating to timestamping for MiFID II, places a requirement for clock synchronisation between the client application and UTC to be accurate to within one hundred microseconds for high frequency algorithmic trading. In the US, SEC Rule 613 states that member firms will have to be able to provide an order audit trail with clock synchronisation accurate to within 50 milliseconds.

Fixnetix has implemented iX-PTP, a cost effective solution that enables trading firms to synchronise business clocks. It will ensure that customers remain compliant with impending regulations, whilst benefitting their trading strategies with a greater level of accuracy and reliability of time stamping on data for post-trade analysis and the testing of future trading strategies.

Customers also have the option of employing an end-to-end monitoring service for the solution of downstream appliances. As with all Fixnetix solutions, iX-PTP is a fully managed service.

Key features:

  • Fully resilient time source with multiple failovers including WAN synchronisation
  • Timestamping within 10 microseconds of UTC (SLA figure), expected accuracy is within 1 microsecond
  • Monitoring of hardware failure, GPS failure and drift between data centres
  • Compliant with (draft) impending RTS25 MiFID II regulations
  • Direct traceability & certification to UTC
  • Provides enhanced synchronisation
  • Built-in, multi-data centre redundancy

iX-PTP does not require a market participant to undertake any major swap out of existing infrastructure. Fixnetix utilises NTP service on an interim basis whilst the client’s hardware is upgraded to be PTP compatible. This delivers a significant cost benefit over other PTP solutions.