Competition in equities trading in developed markets is now so well-established that it seems to have existed forever. In reality it is as much a creation of regulators as of the digital technology that has enabled stock markets to dispense with physical floors and reach across national borders. True, NASDAQ can trace its history back to 1971, but competition was massively accelerated in the United States by Regulation National Market System (or Reg NMS) of 2005. A similar measure in Europe, the first iteration of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) in 2007, began the process of breaking the domestic stock exchange monopolies of the member-states of the European Union (EU). But now the future lie clearly with the digitisation of data and the digitalisation of processes. Someone who has been at the heart of disruption and innovation in the stock exchange industry throughout the years of upheaval is Alasdair Haynes, the founder and CEO of Aquis Exchange, which he set up in 2012 after spells as CEO at both Chi-X Europe (now part of Cboe) and ITG International (now Virtu), to prove his belief that subscription revenue and the Cloud are as relevant to stock exchanges as large corporations. He spoke to Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance.