Jump Trading began its operation in 1999. It was founded as Akamai Trading by Paul Gurinas, Bill Di Somma and John Harada, former pit traders in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Harada left the trading firm to start his own in the year 2001. In the year 2002, Akamai Trading was renamed to Jump Trading.
By prioritizing speed in their trading strategies using the latest electronic and internet infrastructure, Jump has remained one of the most profitable trading firms
By hiring people from top tech companies and financial organizations like Google, Microsoft, Citadel over the years, they have maintained over a thousand talented team of Software engineers, quants, traders, analysts and more. As one of the most successful trading firms specialized in the traditional asset class, it is normal that they get involved in the disruptive and innovative paradigm that is happening in the world’s financial system, that is, blockchain and cryptocurrency trading.
If it was ‘getting involved’ alone, that means Jump Trading would only be in the blockchain ecosystem for trading alone. But far from that, Jump has come to stay in the industry not only to trade but improve the underlying infrastructure that powers the blockchain ecosystem as a whole.
David Olsen, the current President and Chief Investment Officer of Jump Trading LLC said, “The finance industry is undergoing one of the biggest paradigm shifts in its history propelled by innovations in decentralized ledger technologies that will significantly enhance legacy systems and facilitate connectivity across financial service firms, and institutional and retail investors globally.
Having been at the forefront of development in digital assets and DeFi, we believe there is substantial opportunity for industries including healthcare, real estate and social media to leverage the blockchain to transfer information in a trusted, efficient manner. We look forward to the continued growth of Jump Crypto.”
By assuming this second role of actively building to make the blockchain space robust, Jump Trading launched Jump Crypto, with enough capital (and as highlighted above), and with cutting-edge technological resources at their reach has made itself a partner to enlarge the use and benefit of the blockchain ecosystem to the community at large.
Jump Crypto started as an intern project of the Jump research lab at the University of Illinois over 7 years ago. With time, it has grown to become a part of Jump Trading that could easily be spun-off to operate rather independently.
The following are some of the active developments of Jump Crypto:
- Jump Trading made an acquisition of the Berlin-based blockchain engineering firm
Certus One for an undisclosed amount. After the acquisition, the members of staff were added to the team at Jump. The co-founder and CEO of the company, Hendrik Hofstadt was appointed as the director of special projects of the Jump Trading digital assets division. Certus One has been effective in developing proof-of-stake infrastructure for blockchains.
The blockchains we currently have been built with different technology stacks. These heterogenous networks like Polkadot, Ethereum, Solana were built on different platforms and since they are separate networks, only the applications and services built on their individual platforms can communicate with themselves. There is a high chance that more blockchain networks will be created in the future because of the technical and scalability situations of some of the available ones. This causes an exclusivity among these blockchains because there are no easy ways for data to be speedily communicated. By actively developing the wormhole blockchain bridge which was spearheaded by Certus One, eight blockchain networks have been successfully integrated (enabled for communication of data) on the cross-chain bridge.
The information needed to work with on smart contracts that are off-chain (that is, data that are to be inputted into a decentralized app by people due to real-world trading activities) needs a channel of communication so as to be adopted by these applications. This is where a Data Oracle is needed. Jump Crypto is one of the core contributors to the Pyth network’s data oracle as one of those working on the code and also by being one of the major organizations providing information concerning the crypto market’s movement.
These are just a few of the development and participation of Jump in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.
Jump Crypto’s Leadership
Kanav Kariya is the Jump Crypto president. This was announced on the 14th of September, 2021. He started his career at Jump Trading as a software engineering intern in the Jump Trading Research center at the University of Illinois in the year 2017. He has been at the firm since the beginning of his career that same year.
Peter Johnson, a partner at Jump who joined the firm in 2013 is in charge of the company’s investment in cryptocurrency, blockchain ecosystems and in fintech generally.
Investments in the Ecosystem
Over the years, Jump has invested in quite a number of crypto companies and projects.
Jump Crypto led the Series A funding of Slope Finance, a mobile wallet service built for Solana. They also participated in the funding rounds of the following:
- Luna Foundation Guard ($1B)
- MetaEngine ($4M)
- Thetanuts Finance ($18M)
- Mavericks Protocol ($8M)
- Dialect ($4.1)
- Ref Finance ($4.8M)
By actively building infrastructural services, Jump has really helped and is helping out with the needed services that can advance the blockchain ecosystem. They also show that through their investments in early start-up funding for people building real applications and services.