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Statisma, the small business that has put the Bank of England in check

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

Although the company has denied this information through a statement, tweets that are deleted right now could betray it

In a small district on the outskirts of London called Hornchurch, between a residential area and a fish and chips stand, is Statisma. This is a small British company that provides news and audio streaming and that, despite its size, could have distorted the world’s markets and exposed the Bank of England (BoE) and possibly the Central Bank European (ECB) and the United States Federal Reserve (Fed).

The top monetary institution in the United Kingdom acknowledged that its audio signal from press conferences had been ‘hacked’ by a supplier and sold to investment funds from ultrafast transactions. With this information, these platforms knew seconds before what the central bank said about interest rates, among other things. At this time they carried out operations with which they generated profits of millions of euros.

Although at the moment the BoE has not ruled on which company was responsible for selling this information that distorted the market, all Britain’s media points to a name: Statisma. Although the company has denied, through a statement, this information, some tweets, which are currently deleted, could betray it. Both this company and its parent company, Encode, published promotions on the social network to “be the first” to hear the press conference of the Fed, Bank of England, ECB or the Bank of Canada. Investment funds and banks have also confirmed that they received proposals to acquire this “service” of dubious ethics and some, like Barclays, rejected it.

What exactly happened

On December 19, the newspaper ‘The Times’ brought these facts to light in a report. It explained in it that one of those in charge of the retransmission of press conferences was offering a signal with seconds of advantage over the official. In the case of the Bank of England, the video provider for press conferences is Bloomberg. Discarded this was pointed to the audio provider as a possible culprit.

The governor of the BoE openly explained that the information was true and, in addition to recognizing it, explained that it was already resolved and that the person in charge (an external provider) had been disabled. The country’s media insistently sought a possible candidate as the author of these misdeeds. They wanted to know who had challenged the country’s stock market and exposed their top institutions. The monetary authority refused to give the name of the person in charge but said that it was a company that was in charge of the audio signal in case the main one fell.

It was then that all eyes fell on the Twitter of a small audio company (only 1,600 followers currently and a total of assets valued at less than 422,000 euros), with various tweets that claimed to “offer 30 seconds in advance” the wheel Press Release from Governor Mark Carney. One, in particular, published on April 29, mentioned a 10-second advantage over the live broadcast.

Although these publications on social networks have been deleted, there is still a trace of them. There were ‘traders’ and users who, in February 2019, recommended using Twitter to use this service to earn money.

From ‘Times’ they claimed that this company asked for between 2,500 and 5,000 pounds for having access to these “seconds of advantage”. These research figures would have been confirmed according to the medium by banks that would have been offered. Among these entities would be JP Morgan and HSBC, which, according to ‘Financial Times’, would have accessed those audio sources. These two newspapers, in addition to the ‘Wall Street Journal’, affirm that both banks and sources within the Bank of England have confirmed that Statisma was the external provider that sold these transmissions.

However, what scared the most about those publications was not just the fact that he found the company that had the most ballots ‘hacked’ the BoE to discover that it was a small company. These tweets also included press conferences of the European Central Bank, the US Federal Reserve and the Central Bank of Canada.

Since the last two institutions have not ruled on the scandal, but from the old continent they have already denied it, claiming that they have taken security measures. A spokesman for the ECB commented that “to prevent such things from happening, we took action in September of this year, delaying audio transmissions and offering them in low latency. That is why it makes no sense for anyone to use any commercially offered solution”.

From Statisma they definitively deny any implication in the case and affirmed in a statement, after the information indicating to them, that “we do not transmit advanced information and we do not transmit information that is not available to the public first”.

What is Statisma?

This company defines itself as “a technology company specializing in the delivery of audio content available to the public”. It has been operating in the United Kingdom, located outside London (Hornchurch), since 2010. The company was born as an extension of a previous one called Encoded Media, a video services company for small and medium businesses. The latter has been in existence since 2003 and both, although independent, are led by the same management team.

Statimsa is recognized in Britain as a limited company, controlled in more than 75% by a single partner, Philip Wand. The company, according to the ‘company check’ portal, has assets valued at barely 360,000 pounds (421,000 euros) and the company from which it emerged, just 296,000 pounds (346,700 euros).

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