Trade Terminal and 42 Silicon Valley: A Case Study

CEO Yao Meng presenting to a group of students at 42 SV

Trade Terminal: A Hedge Fund That Trades on the Crypto Market

Trade Terminal is a hedge fund that trades digital asset for its investors. Their capital pool and strategies allocation are adjusted dynamically according to the crypto market climate. Trade Terminal trades on the most secure and trusted exchanges to minimize unforeseeable risks. The signature feature of Trade Terminal is their fast execution capability. This significantly reduces risk and protects a customer’s investment.

Established in 2014, Trade Terminal’s main office is now located in Millbrae, California. Trade Terminal currently trades more than 1% of the entire crypto market value, and they are one of the leading firms in this area. According to COO Lingxiao Yang, the crypto market is now worth $200-$300 billion depending on price fluctuations. Last year, Trade Terminal initiated the 2018 Crypto Hedge Fund Summit that was held in Wall Street, NYC. They invited BlackRock, BitSpread, BlockTower, Two Sigma, Trade Terminal, Vatic Labs and 20 more agencies (with a combined AUM of $10Trillion+) to address the feasibility of Large Institutional clients to enter the Digital Asset arena. The summit accelerated the crypto industry development and strengthened market confidence among the largest professional wealth managers.

CEO Yao Meng explained, “We don’t gamble, what we do is quantitative research. We combine single processing and we diversify our investment into hundreds of millions of parameters. After that, we generate some uncorrelated returns. We take a very slow approach, one that is likely to make money in the long-run. As the industry advances into trillions from now. We could be the next Google, Maybe the $40-$50 million equivalent in digital assets we are managing now will grow into a multi-billion dollar fund.”

The Challenge: Finding People With An Entrepreneurial Spirit

Meng shared how it has been challenging finding people with an entrepreneurial spirit. He noted how a lot of software engineers breaking into the field will choose to work for large firms. But he believes some of these big corporations don’t always offer opportunities for advancement. Meng admits that it was extremely hard to recruit talents with an entrepreneurial mindset and visionaries believing in cryptocurrency.

According to Meng, Trade Terminal is looking for developers who are interested in taking a different path of employment than just the traditional options. He continued, “We need developer talent that wants to take on the challenges of the crypto market, who want to be part of a team. The entire industry is small, so finding someone who wants to grow it is hard to do.”  Alongside steady growth of assets under management (AUM), talent acquisition is one of the most critical success factors for Trade Terminal.

The Trade Terminal software development team during their weekly meeting
CEO Yao Meng representing Trade Terminal at the 2018 Crypto Hedge Fund Summit in Wall Street, NYC

The Decision: Recruit Developers from 42 SV

Meng learned about 42 Paris and how successful the program was in France. In July 2016, Meng attended 42 Silicon Valley’s very first piscine, where he met co-founder Yusuke Sakakibara. Even though Meng had experience in computer science, he joined the piscine to see what it was like and to meet people who are passionate about coding. The part he loved most during his time at 42 was the peer-to-peer learning, “42 has an environment that is all about problem-solving and self-learning, which helps you grow the skills you need to be a successful developer.”

Meng shared why they decided to come back to 42 Silicon Valley to look for developers, “We see the talent at 42, as I was one of the success stories here. I know what 42 is like, I know what the people are like, and I know what the working style is like. People in the 42 program have very solid programming skills and want to change their lives and change the world.” 

Yang added, “42 has a different culture. People here are open-minded, hard-working, and will take a little extra risk to get extra rewards.” Right now, Trade Terminal is looking for Quant Developers to join their team. Quant Developers are backend engineers that know how to do data ETL (extract, transform, load). You need to have experience with C++, Go, Python, NodeJS and/or other backend languages to be successful in this role. 

Results: Growing an Impactful Team

Meng has recruited two people he met during his piscine and they still work for Trade Terminal. Looking to the future, they are hoping to add at least 1-2 more team members from 42. Currently, Trade Terminal has a small team of around 20 people. Meng shared there will be opportunities for advancement for people joining their team, including the possibility of partnership.

The next steps for Trade Terminal include deploying more strategies. Meng shared, “We are looking at gaining more than 2% of the entire market share this year. That is our new trading strategy, at least high-frequency trading when a new batch comes in. Also, we are refining our new platform by the end of next year. Right now we are closing a multi-million dollar investment. We need more people on our team to manage those additional funds. That is why we are so eager to find developer talent at 42 Silicon Valley. Those who join our team will have a huge impact on our company’s future success.”

You may also download a PDF version: Trade Terminal and 42 Silicon Valley: A Case Study

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published by Stacey Faucett – September 13, 2019