The Tokyo Stock Exchange has spent $140 million on the development of arrowhead, a new 'super-fast' trading platform that processes trades in five milliseconds, approximately 600 times faster than its legacy predecessor.
The TSE may have hauled itself into the 21st century with the upgrade, but it already appears to have been left in the starting blocks by fleeter-footed rivals.
Low latency leader Bats currently claims a 250 microsecond turnaround, while Nyse Arca upped its speed to 900 microseconds the day after the launch of arrowhead.
The TSE holds a near-monopoly stranglehold on equity trading in Japan, but it also faces the prospect of new competition from upstarts like Chi-X, which has an application for proprietary trading system status pending with Japanese regulatory authorities.
Chi-X currently offers processing speeds of 400 microseconds, and is certain to prove attractive to local investors as they prepare for a new era of technology-driven trading.
Indeed, if the TSE wants a glimpse into a scary near-future, it need only look at the experience of the London Stock Exchange, which poured £40 million into the development of TradElect (2.8 milliseconds), only to scrap it two years later when it realised
that it was choking on the dust of nimbler rivals.