Jump to the Front of Commission Free Algo Trading Waitlist

Hundreds of algo traders have already joined the waitlist for Alpaca, the first ever commission free algo trading platform. We’d love to let everyone in at the same time, but we have to test the platform and admit people over time.

 Images via:Woolme

Images via:Woolme

Take a look at the Alpaca Coding Challenge below.

But we wanted to offer an opportunity to jump to the front of the waitlist line if you’re up for a little challenge.

Once you’ve come up with an answer to our coding puzzle, email it to puzzle@alpaca.markets. Everyone who gets the correct answer will be moved to the front of the waitlist and be among the very first to have access to completely commission free algo trading.

We’ll announce the winners on May 25.

Want to get extra special love and attention and get to the very front of the waitlist line? Share a link to the Coding Challenge (https://alpaca.markets/puzzle) on social media using #codingwithalpacas. We’ll keep a list of everyone who shares the Alpaca Coding Challenge and you’ll also get an invite to move to the front of the line.

And we also have one other special gift. Everyone who sends in an answer will be entered in a drawing and we’ll choose a handful of names at random who will receive a free copy of Machine Trading, by Author Ernie Chan. We are big fans! 


Happy Coding!

You can also just sign up for the waitlist at https://alpaca.markets


Alpaca: Algo Trading Commission Free is Finally Here.

Today we are taking the wraps off Alpaca, the world’s first commission free algo trading platform that is SEC registered and a FINRA member. Alpaca offers a stack of free and powerful AI tools that we believe could accelerate shifting the center of power in investing from Wall Street to Main Street.


Join the the waitlist today.

It’s nothing new to say the World has changed. But the Wall Street World has changed very little in some respects. But that’s about to change.

Today, there are smart people all over the country who are developing their own trading strategies by harnessing the power of code to write algorithms that take more and more of the guesswork out of trading. Over time, we firmly believe algo traders will develop the winning trading strategies of tomorrow that will attract billions of dollars in investments. America’s hedge funds won’t all be located up and down Wall Street. They’ll have their offices on Main Streets in towns and cities across America.

Years ago, a couple of young entrepreneurs assembling computers in the garage would go on to upend the entire communications, computing, music and media landscape when they founded Apple. It’s not too hard to believe that coders working away in their dorm rooms, garages or home offices are going to write algorithms that change securities trading as we know it.

And we believe our platform is an important part of driving this transformation. Never before, have algo traders been able to write their algo and let it execute as many trades as is necessary without incurring a single penny in commission expense. One of the downsides of writing powerful code prior to today was that trades driven by algorithms happen so quickly and frequently that the traditional model of paying for every trade led to huge trading expenses. Join our waitlist now.

That changes today.

At its core, our new platform Alpaca is the first modern, easy-to-integrate brokerage web API built specifically for algo trading.

Some of the key stats and technology innovations in Alpaca include:

Alpaca Web API

• Web-standard REST and WebSocket interface

• Open accessible document

• Client SDK in python, Go, C#, JavaScript

• Secure and minimal overhead authentication for each individual algo

Fast and broad data delivery backed by MarketStore

• Over 100 times faster than current solutions in the market*

• Allows all 8k stocks in the US equities in one request

• Allows to query years of data at minute level

*Quantitative metrics of “over 100 times faster” is measured based on fetching 1 minute bar for the last 1 year of one stock.

We are committed to delivering the best platform for all algo traders.

  • Integration with open source backtest/trading systems such as zipline and LEAN
  • WebHook integration for user-defined notification to harness Slack, Email, Discord, etc.
  • Algo hosting service and performance analysis built in the platform, like Heroku
  • Constant algo tuning backed by iterative optimization engine

Alongside the world’s first Web API Algo platform, we offer users free AI tools that can be used to improve and refine algo trading code. Our AI technology includes various optimization, prediction, fuzzy pattern-matching and more with natural trendline calculation to identify support and resistance using heuristics+ML.

Other features in our AI tools include:

Reinforcement learning and policy learning — identify optimal exit point given static entry logic

Quantitative portfolio management method — using fundamental and technical data based on the factor model

Parallel backtesting and optimization engine — finds the optimal parameters of algos with latest market condition

Ensemble module — improves the accuracy of deep learning classification and price prediction

Intraday price movement — feature extraction

News analysis — based on NLP using deep learning and ML to score and filter actionable content

Only a handful of users have been admitted to Alpaca today but we’re accepting sign ups on our waitlist today.

Please join us at https://alpaca.markets


MarketStore, the financial time series database, is now open source

We are happy to announce MarketStore is now open source! MarketStore is a database server optimized for financial timeseries data written in pure Go, designed and developed by Alpaca. You can think of it as an extensible DataFrame service that is accessible from anywhere in your system, at higher scalability.

Read More

Where Do We Stand in the AI Hype Cycle?

Working for an AI centered algorithmic trading company has allowed me to gain insight on the two most disruptive industries of modern day: AI and finance. This precise positioning in the middle of so many up and coming industries has given me a unique perspective regarding the future of artificial intelligence and crypto trading.

What Is the Hype Cycle?


Great picture explaining the hype cycle from Wikipedia

To begin to understand the opportunities associated with these two technologies, we first must comprehend the hype behind them. Gartner, a prominent IT research firm, spearheaded the hype cycle concept, outlining 5 key phases that a trend goes through. This theory has been proven to work, as there are many examples of trends that have fallen into this established pattern. Not everything is the same, of course, but you can use the patterns this cycle to predict where a particular trend will go. A fascinating part of this trend is that in order to join the mainstream hype, a technology needs to experience both an upward peak and a downward trend of disillusionment, exhibiting an oscillating volatile nature.

The Hype Cycle In Action: The DotCom Bubble a.k.a. Internet

One of the best parts of living in Silicon Valley is that you can hear the real, raw stories about the historical moments that have taken place in technology. I have several friends who experienced the notorious DotCom bubble hype.

The crazy uptrend started in the 90’s where people, especially in the tech space, started to claim there would be the new type of economy within the digital world, one characterized not by tangible products and profit rather an idea of a new way of doing business. Some people compare it with today’s ICO hype, as many of the current ICO projects don’t have real products yet manage to raise considerable amounts of money.

It took roughly 20 years for the Nasdaq index to reach its previous peak in 2017. During that time period, companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook grew and flourished, and our entire lifestyle was transformed by the Internet. Let me emphasize this again. It took a full 20 years for the original vision of the internet to come to fruition, even with super-smart, hard-working innovators.

How did Crypto Start?

Now let’s turn to crypto. 2017 was a great year for the crypto space, as bitcoin prices not only soared 1,000%, but more importantly, the philosophy behind the bitcoin and blockchain technology traveled into the mainstream hype. Even my mom has now heard about it.

It is easy to mistakenly think that crypto is a quite recent trend, but the Bitcoin paper by Satoshi Nakamoto was actually first published in 2008. It took almost ten years for this trend to enter people’s daily lives and affect the common person. Over the last decade, so many risk-takers have put in enormous efforts to push this once naive technology to such a level, applicable to a wide range of things, from easy-to-use wallet systems to merchant spending infra. If you haven’t checked out the documentary video Banking on Bitcoin by Christopher Cannucciari, which offers a fantastic overview of the origins and path of Bitcoin, I strongly recommend watching it.

And Where Is Crypto Today?

If you are not too young, you might remember the prominent event in the bitcoin history about Mt. Gox case. It was 2011 when the firm suffered a security breach and lost almost all of their customer assets. By 2013, I was starting my own startup and had couple of friends in the bitcoin startup community, but I was completely out of the loop regarding the growing mainstream bitcoin hype. I never imagined bitcoin would be something my mom would talk about in 5 years. Note that this 2011–2013 time horizon was a full 5 years after the publishing of the Bitcoin paper, and even bitcoin connoisseurs like me never fathomed the recent crypto craze would occur.

With this being said, I still have no clue what the future that the crypto will be making in the next 10 years. Who could have imagined you would be able to connect with your high school friends through Facebook, and Amazon would start something called cloud business leveraging their online bookstore infrastructure, 20 years back? I’ll be humble and admit I probably don’t know how crypto technology will change the world exactly. People are excited about the opportunity behind this technology as well as how it can change the economy, and some anarchists go as far as to say that our entire sense of governments will be disrupted. The only thing I can say at this point is that this crypto trend just passed the peak of excitement, and will probably see a huge depression over the next few years, as the hype cycle predicts, but will see bigger impact over the next 10–20 years.

When Current AI Boom Started?

It is a very well known fact that the current AI trend is actually the third one in the AI history. The first one started right after the modern computer was born in 60’s-70’s, and the second one arose in the 90’s, when new theories arose. These two AI booms were significant but never reached full fruition, as the computing power was just not enough to accomplish what was aimed by them.

The third era emerged from the memorable 2012 ImageNet competition when the Deep Learning approach by the Toronto team outperformed any other previous techniques by far and approached the human recognition level. Some later research identified the use of GPU realized the theoretic idea with realistic cost. GPU, of course, is only one of many hardware approaches like FPGA, but it did prove that computation power had caught up to theory to some extent.

Since then, the chip maker nVIDIA has jumped into the space, turning itself from a game company to an AI business. Google established the Google Brain project, hiring many top-notch brains from academia, competing with companies like Baidu in self-driving car space, as well as beating human champion of Go by AlphaGo, backed by so many trials and errors with acq-hired startups. Around 2014–2015, we also saw the nativity of many Deep Learning startups that either don’t exist anymore or acquired by big players, around us Alpaca.

And Where Is AI Today?

It’s 2018 and it’s been only less than 6 years from the ImageNet shock. If you compare the bitcoin space, it is around the time Mt. Gox was in trouble and I had no clue what they were talking about. I can now see that AI may have some trouble soon; we are already starting to see technologies in this space fall short of what we expect, such as un performing chatbots self-driving cars, but we will just have to wait and see exactly how the AI trend as a whole plays out.

The best time to invest in AI is right now, based on the lessons learned from crypto. If you compare this trend with the internet boom, it’s either even before the bubble, or in another angle it is only around 2003–2004 where things like Google came out to the mainstream. I sometimes see that people think AI means Deep Learning, but that is not true; it is also not just playing Go or self driving cars. Artificial intelligence possesses a myriad of opportunities and applications, and has the potential to change every aspect of the human life, including finance; we have no idea the potential impact of this monumental technology. There are many leaders who offer specific insights and arguments regarding the future of AI technology, such as Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg. They predict it could kill people or there will be singularity. The only thing I can say for sure is that we are underestimating the impact of this trend, and we can only surely determine its effects 20 years from now. Today, however, Alpaca can take pride in the fact that we are the ones that are pushing the boundaries into this undefined space of innovation, paving the way for a new world full of possibility and innovation.

“There is only a “one in billions”chance that we’re not living in a computer simulation. Our lives are almost certainly being conducted within an artificial world powered by AI and highly-powered computers, like in The Matrix” — Elon Musk