Fundamental changes in the technology, products and platforms of U.S. futures trading have increased the Commission’s need for sophisticated technology, specialized skills and additional resources to keep pace.
In the futures industry, exchanges, in particular, have undergone a decade-long transition from geographically-defined trading pits to electronic platforms with global reach. From 2000 to 2010, electronic trading grew from approximately nine percent of volume to 78 percent on all U.S. designated contract markets (DCMs). Over the same time period, the number of actively-traded futures and options contracts listed on U.S. exchanges increased more than nine-fold, from approximately 266 contracts in 2000 to approximately 2,466 contracts in 2010. Total DCM futures and options trading volume rose from approximately 580 million contracts in 2000 to approximately 3.11 billion in 2010, an increase of more than 436 percent.
In a marketplace driven by change, it may be helpful to look back at industry and CFTC trends over the past few years. The charts that follow reflect many of those changes affecting the CFTC: