No More Bitcoin Exchange Fail Whales, Says PubNub CEO Todd Greene

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PubNub delivers a quick-start toolkit for Bitcoin Exchanges to handle trading volume

“No one wants to see a fail whale when they are making a $10 million Bitcoin transaction” — Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub

“Bitcoin never sleeps,” said Brock Pierce, managing director at Clearstone Global Gaming Fund and prolific Bitcoin angel investor, on a panel discussion at the Inside Bitcoins conference in Las Vegas last week.

Bitcoin is a global, 24/7 marketplace. The largest Bitcoin trading exchange is in China, called BTCChina. There are exchanges in Japan, Slovenia, and the US, to name a few.

So how do you keep track of cross-exchange arbitrage opportunities and global pricing movements in real-time? Real-time network PubNub says it has the answer, called the Bitcoin Exchange Solution Kit.

We interviewed Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. PubNub is a real-time network that operates a global set of data centers for real-time applications.

“A real-time application is any type of Internet application where an event happens somewhere and you want it reflected immediately somewhere else,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub in an interview with On Bitcoin. “Examples include Webex, E*TRADE, World of Warcraft, Skype, and stock quotes.”

And now Bitcoin trading.

With the Bitcoin Exchange Solution Kit, available at, app makers can create their own real-time data feeds of Bitcoin prices and trades.

“It’s like a CDN for real-time data,” explained Greene. “You need a set of services and core building blocks.”

The key building blocks include data push, presence (when somebody drops off), storage and playback service of data streams, security and encryption, and analytics. PubNub also promises a 0.25 second latency guarantee.

PubNub Real-Time Bitcoin Data

This is not PubNub’s first time at the dance. With other real-time solution kits for stocks and collaboration, the company has an extensive customer list including Rebtel, Viggle, GetTaxi, Humble Bundle, StageIT, Spreecast, Celly, Monotype, Class Dojo and more.

Greene told us that they have helped Coca-Cola with real-advertising campaigns, provided the backbone for real-time voting at the Superbowl, and powered the second largest VOIP provider in the world.

Why Bitcoin? And a Partnership with Bitcoin Exchange Mt.Gox

We asked Greene why he was building a solution kit for Bitcoin exchanges.

“Charles Schwab had a decade to build their technology,” said Greene, “and now people are trying to build Bitcoin exchanges in a couple of months. With Twitter, it’s okay to see a fail whale; no one wants to see a fail whale when they are making a $10 million Bitcoin transaction.”

Related: Bitcoin Exchanges Plagued by Liquidity Issues and Attacks

To kick off the launch, PubNub has partnered with Japan-based Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox, once the leading exchange in the world and still a valuable player in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Mt.Gox has published a wiki page with details on the integration with PubNub.

“Mt.Gox is now using the services of PubNub to stream real-time data due to the difficulty to cope with the kind of volumes of data we need to broadcast real-time while keeping a reliable service,” said Mt.Gox.

Todd Greene sees growth in his Bitcoin customers. Any app maker, financial service company, news publication, or emerging exchange can benefit, said Greene. Many new entrants have been unable to handle the sudden spikes in trading volume. PubNub thinks they can help.

“With Bitcoin transactions having exceeded 100,000 in a day and valued at over $850 from just $13 a year ago, its apparent the virtual currency is catching on. And, like any financial trading platform, scalable and secure real-time infrastructure is key for ongoing success,“ said Stephen Blum, CTO of PubNub. “Now, Bitcoin exchanges can focus on their business instead of the complex real-time systems and data centers required for these features.”

For more information on PubNub’s Botcoin Exchange Solution Kit, visit:

Thanks to PubNub CEO Todd Greene for the interview.

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