Christopher Newhouse is a graduate trader at GSR, a crypto-native market maker focused on providing liquidity to institutional counterparts as well as creating market for individual token projects. He started about a month ago with a class of 7 graduates and was the only hire in the US this year for the graduate trader position. After initial training in London, he’s now on the desk and here’s what his average day looks like.
6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: I wake up around 6:00 a.m., make a quick breakfast, and head to the gym. Usually I shower and get ready for the gym so I can take the bus straight to the office. GSR has a hybrid working model, so people sometimes work from home on Mondays and Fridays. It’s great to have the flexibility to choose when to come to the office, but I try to come to the office as much as possible being a junior in my career. I really enjoyed being able to turn around in my chair and have a conversation with others, and I love being able to walk over to my buddy’s office and observe him during the day while I learn some of the day-to-day operations.
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: When I get to work, I catch up with a few co-workers, grab something from the kitchen, and take a look at some systems and discussions to see what happened overnight. GSR has traders in all different time zones, so it’s quite easy to transition our daily tasks to the next time zone and we don’t need to work beyond our local hours. I take a look at some news articles but in crypto it’s a bit different; I scroll through some popular Twitter pages to see if anything interesting has happened in the ecosystem and read news about a few tokens that haven’t been officially released yet but seem to have impacted the price evolution. I scroll through a few more news-related Telegram threads and check crypto-native news sources like The Block and CoinDesk for the bigger picture. I try to focus a lot on the derivatives and options space in crypto because I find that to be the most interesting so I also look at more traditional metrics like term structure and options bias cryptocurrency and thought about some ways traders may be trying to structure their views on the options market to get more color on the direction people may think the market may be heading.
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: We have a weekly global catch-up call to determine some of our upcoming strategies and to recap the type of projects we are working on. It’s great to be able to hear other projects in the works and other traders’ views on how the market is moving.
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: I generally run my day-to-day operational activities including quoting clients for spot trades, pricing options for derivatives traders, monitoring our risk systems to note if anything looks out of the ordinary, and settling liquidators and accumulators. From time to time I will make adjustments to trade bookings that need to be changed, execute trades for clients and continue to monitor and adapt to crypto markets to ensure the team is aware of any interesting flows or pending transactions.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: We are a market maker for several DeFi options vaults. On Fridays, I help my, Buddy, Embert quote and evaluate a variety of options listed by some of the DeFi option vaults. We keep track of where chests have been traded previously as well as their size and take this into account when we quote and try to win the chests. I make sure to book any stream we earn from the vaults and then deploy our automated hedging engines to monetize it.
13:00 – 13:30: GSR offers a free daily lunch for people in the office. I order my lunch early in the morning and it sometimes comes through here. I usually just eat at my desk and browse all the interesting news or updates on Twitter, Telegram and popular crypto news sites to see if anything interesting is happening.
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: When there are downtimes and daily operational activities die down, I read some books that were suggested to me by Mike and John, two of our traders in Europe. The books cover Vanilla and Exotic options, and I can ask them any questions I have about Slack. GSR is not a place that throws you straight into the fire or has a ton of intimidating people, everyone is on the same team and knows the learning curve is steep and everyone is ready to help you level up.
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: I have catch-up calls with a few traders since I am still new and introducing myself globally. I like to learn more about what kind of experience people have before getting into the crypto space and why they chose crypto. GSR has a ton of knowledge and experience on the traditional side of things, but everyone here has a passion and interest in crypto. GSR definitely has a feel for a more crypto-native culture rather than a bank. Some of our traders even wear shorts in the office, which I’m told doesn’t really happen in a bank. We have traders in a variety of different time zones, so the work-life balance is great, and the environment seems to be a lot more exciting and fast-paced than what I’ve heard from my banking friends.
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: A client requests a quote on a few different alt-coin options. GSR specializes in the pricing and monetization of alt-coin options, which is where we differ a bit from some of the other crypto-native brokers and stores: we don’t just quote Bitcoin and ETH options, but some alt options – more esoteric corner as well. We use proprietary pricing models and mechanisms, and we end up quoting the client and winning the deal. We reserve and hedge the trade, and allow our gamma scalping engines to monetize the option.
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: I took the initiative to summarize our daily risks at the end of US hours, note all interesting transactions that occurred throughout the day and come up with different interesting metrics to share with the team regarding our business trading and our portfolio. assets. I spend this time going through some of the data feeds like GenesisVolatility, Laevitas and Skew.com to capture interesting options/derivatives data related to flows and volatility. I use some of our systems to run scenario analysis that shows our different risks and positioning at different levels of volatility and price, and I send those documents to the team.
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Traders working from home are still connected to some of our voice chats and I’m having downtime in the markets, so we discuss the macro environment behind crypto along with some interesting thoughts on NFT markets. Although GSR is a crypto-native store, many of our traders have deep experience in traditional finance, so I’m definitely able to get the same quality of education and learning. Macro is macro, and options are options, whether it’s crypto or traditional finance.
5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: A client comes in and asks for a few quotes for a few different tokens with fairly low liquidity. I quote them and figure out the best way to execute some of these trades, book them, and go home to my apartment to end my day. I’m still learning, so I read some of my books and jot down any questions I might want to ask some of our traders the next day.
In the evening, I like to cook in my apartment, spend time with my fiancé or work out at the gym. I have plenty of time to do things outside of work. Right now, however, there’s a crypto conference in New York, so I’m going there for a few hours to network and discuss the market.
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