When we made the mistake of saying “milliseconds,” instead of “microseconds” at a Mankoff Group HFT conference the other night, we were quickly corrected.
“Trading in milliseconds is from like, last century,” a trader told us.
“The new frontier is microseconds,” another added.
“We’re trying to get to a speed where we can trade in 5 microseconds – actually it might even be down to 3 now.”
A microsecond, in case you’re wondering, is one millionth of a second. It’s basically not even a measure of time – that’s how fast it is. It takes 5.4 microseconds for light to travel 1 mile in a vacuum, for example.