Hey B, well, it depends on how one defines ECN.
Remember that the NASDAQ basically started the ECN concept. Back in the good old days on the NASDAQ you could target the AXE, because again, when the NASDAQ got started their goal was to make an open and fair system for trading. Sooooo on L2 you could actually ID the Market Maker/Axe, and target them, this also allowed you to fade or shadow them. Of course, GS, CANT etc. Did not like this and they decided that the NASDAQ should provide an anonymous platform, which they complied with, and the edge of seeing who was executing what, or better said who was making the market on what, was brought to a tragic end. Which is why today L2 is no where near as powerful as it was in the beginning, if you talk to anyone who was trading back then, they will tell you.
Again, NASDAQ’s original concept of an ECN had the market makers name or designation on L2, so it was not anonymous. My Currenex feed is also NOT anonymous, I can actually see who is out there, 3 Primes and my broker, I can also communicate with the desk guys if I want, run RFQ’s, RFT’s, Iceburgs etc. My broker does not touch the order other than provide access the PB’s, or I guess the in word now is Liquidity Providers “LP’s”. So it is not anonymous, but it is not touched by my broker, so what is it, by Spot Currency standards it is an ECN.
So the term ECN has morphed into various meanings. What I refer to as ECN, is what the definition has come to mean within Retail Spot, basically a platform where your order does not go to a dealing desk first, then cleared. Now the execution process, or “back end”, that is a different story again STP, Hybrid STP, Hybrid Corn, no wait the last one if for this spring.
So defining an ECN as anonymous, is only one definition, originally the NASDAQ ECN was not anonymous.
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