A significant share of all financial trading of securities are done directly between buyers and sellers outside of the financial exchanges. For some of this off-exchange trading, buyers and sellers are matched through highly specialized matching services i.e. off-exchange matching. These so-called Alternative Trading Systems (ATS) is used world-wide and regulated by national or regional regulation.
The ATS receives a lot of private information about buyers’ willingness to pay and sellers’ willingness to accept in order to find the most optimal matches. Confidential handling of this private information as well as information about the actual outcomes of the matching (prior to public announcement), is one of the most important tasks of any ATS. The operators of the ATSs are single points of trust and vulnerable to security attacks and data breaches.