A Brief History of Binary Options | IQ Option Wiki

History of Binary Options Key Takeaways

  • Binary options have a robust history, having weathered various market changes and still remaining a significant part of the financial market.
  • The evolution of binary options shows a consistent adaptation to new market realities, demonstrating their resilience and relevance in the trading world.
  • Speculation about the future of binary options is optimistic, given their potent past and proven performance.

history of binary options


In the ever-evolving financial markets, binary options have carved a niche for themselves. The lure of potentially high profits, paired with the apparent simplicity of predicting whether an asset’s price will rise or fall, has made binary options a popular choice for many traders.

Yet, the history of binary options is a fascinating tale that many are unaware of. Understanding this historical context is crucial, as it not only enlightens us about the journey of this financial instrument but also provides insights into its future.

Binary options, in their most basic form, are a type of financial option where the payoff is either a fixed amount or nothing at all.

Traders essentially place bets on whether a specific asset’s price will be above or below a certain amount at a particular time. While this makes binary options seemingly straightforward, the reality is far from it.

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s quote above aptly describes the importance of understanding the history of binary options. By comprehending its past, traders can make informed decisions and potentially avoid repeating the mistakes of yesteryears.

So, let’s dive into the fascinating history of binary options, exploring their origins, evolution, and the impact of regulatory changes.binary option trader

Origins of Binary Options

Early in the history of binary options, it was seen as a novel approach to trading. Despite their current popularity, binary options are a relatively recent invention in the financial world. The first semblance of binary options emerged in the late 20th century.

It was in the 1970s, with the creation of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), that options trading was taken to another level. Prior to this, options trading was conducted over-the-counter (OTC), largely controlled by institutional investors and big-time traders.

The CBOE revolutionized the trading world, bringing options trading to the individual retail investor. This was the first major step towards the binary options we know today.

Binary options were first officially recognized as financial instruments in 1999, introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC approved them for exchange trading, allowing investors to speculate on whether the price of an asset would rise or fall, similar to a yes/no proposition.

  • 1973: Creation of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).
  • 1999: Binary options officially recognized by the SEC.

 The introduction of digital platforms in the early 2000s brought binary options to the masses. Online trading platforms allowed a wider audience to explore this financial instrument, leading to an explosion in popularity.

As the internet evolved, so did binary options, transforming into a versatile, accessible tool for retail investors.

Binary options, once the domain of institutional investors, has been democratized by the rise of digital trading platforms.

The Evolution and Expansion in the 20th Century

In the 20th century, the binary options market began to take form and shape. Over-the-counter (OTC) binary options were introduced, creating a new investment opportunity for individuals and corporations.

The concept of binary options was met with a mix of intrigue and skepticism, leading to a shift in market regulations. However, with time and as more people began to understand the binary options concept, market acceptance gradually increased.

Key Milestones:

  1. The Introduction of OTC Binary Options: Over-the-counter binary options created a new avenue for investment. These options were traded directly between the buyer and seller, without going through a regulated exchange.
  2. Regulation Shifts: As the binary options market evolved, there were significant shifts in regulations. Regulatory bodies began to understand the need for a controlled environment that would ensure investors’ safety.
  3. Market Acceptance: The binary options market faced numerous challenges in its early stages. However, as traders gained an understanding of the concept, the market saw an increase in acceptance and participation.

Technological advancements played a significant role in shaping the binary options market. Innovations such as the internet and advanced computing capabilities have proven instrumental in enhancing binary options trading.

Note: Technological advancements have not only improved accessibility and convenience in binary options trading but also enhanced the speed and efficiency of transactions.

Year Milestone
1973 Introduction of OTC Binary Options
1980s-1990s Regulation Shifts
2000s Market Acceptance and Technological Advancements

In conclusion, the history of binary options in the 20th century is marked by significant evolution and expansion. The journey, though filled with challenges, has resulted in a robust market that offers great investment opportunities.

Rise in Popularity in the Early 21st Century

As the internet and digital technology have evolved, so too has the world of online trading. The first decade of the 21st century marked a new era in the history of binary options.

The digitalization of trading platforms not only made it easier for individuals to trade, but it also opened up the market to a wider audience.

As the history of binary options moved into the 21st century, the trading method saw a significant spike in global interest.

“The shift from traditional trading methods to online platforms has been both revolutionary and transformative, providing traders with greater access, flexibility, and convenience.”

Before the digital era, binary options trading was mainly an over-the-counter market activity, with limited accessibility.

However, with the rise of the internet, traders could now participate in binary options trading from anywhere in the world. This led to a surge in interest and participation in binary options trading.

  • Digitalization: The process of converting information or assets into a digital format. In the world of trading, this refers to the transition from physical trading floors to online trading platforms.
  • Online Trading Platforms: These are software applications utilized by traders to open, close, and manage market positions. They are a key component in the modern trading landscape.

With the introduction of binary options into mainstream financial markets, the investment strategy quickly gained popularity for its simplicity and potential for high returns.

As we delve deeper into the history of binary options, we’ll explore this trading method’s journey from a niche investment avenue to a widely recognized financial instrument.

Who Invented Binary Options?

The modern version of binary options was developed by a financial expert named Lewis Borsellino. He was the founder of the Chicago Trading Company, which was one of the largest options trading firms in the world. Borsellino is credited with creating the first binary options trading platform in the 1990s.founder of Binary options

Regulation, Scandals, and Industry Changes

Binary options, a form of financial derivative, have a rich and intriguing history. The industry has faced various regulatory challenges since its inception. In this section, we delve into these challenges and their impact on the History of Binary Options.

  1. Regulatory Ambiguity: Initially, binary options were largely unregulated. This ambiguity led to inconsistencies in how binary options were traded and monitored across different jurisdictions.
  2. Consumer Protection: The lack of regulation also meant that traders were left unprotected. There were numerous reports of fraudulent activities, affecting traders’ perception of binary options.
  3. Integration with Traditional Financial Systems: Binary options struggled to gain acceptance within traditional financial systems due to their speculative nature and high-risk profile.

Notable Scandals Affecting Traders’ Perception

The History of Binary Options is marked by notable scandals that have significantly influenced traders’ perception of the industry. Here, we highlight a few:

  • The Banc De Binary scandal: In 2016, this reputable binary options broker was charged with multiple offences by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and was eventually forced to close its operations.
  • Binary options scam in Israel: In 2017, Israeli authorities cracked down on fraudulent binary options firms, marking a significant turning point in the industry’s history.

Efforts by Global Regulatory Bodies to Streamline and Standardize Binary Options Trading

In response to the industry’s regulatory challenges and the need to protect traders, global regulatory bodies have made concerted efforts to streamline and standardize binary options trading.

Regulatory Body Action Taken
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Approved the listing of binary options in 2008, providing a legal framework for traders and brokers in the US.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Banned binary options altogether in 2018, citing consumer protection reasons.
Israeli Securities Authority (ISA) Banned the sale of binary options to its citizens in 2017.

In the History of Binary Options, these regulatory actions have been instrumental in shaping the industry’s evolution. They have served to protect traders and ensure a level playing field in the binary options market.

Modern Trends and The Future

The dawn of the twenty-first century has brought about rapid advances in technology, which have significantly impacted the way binary options trading is conducted. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two such technologies that have transformed the landscape of binary options trading.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI allows for more precise and efficient trading. Traders can use AI to analyze vast amounts of data, identifying trends and making predictions with superhuman accuracy. It takes the guesswork out of trading, empowering traders to make informed decisions.
  • Machine Learning: Machine learning, a subset of AI, enables trading platforms to adapt to individual traders’ habits and preferences. Over time, these platforms ‘learn’ to provide a more personalized and efficient trading experience.

As well as technological advancements, there’s a growing focus on transparency and user experience in the binary options industry. Traders demand transparency to ensure they’re dealing with reputable brokers and platforms.

User experience, on the other hand, is all about making trading as seamless and enjoyable as possible. It encompasses everything from the design of the trading platform to customer service.

Given the current trends, we can anticipate a few potential future trajectories for binary options trading:

  1. Increased Regulation: As the industry grows, we can expect to see more robust regulation to protect traders and maintain market integrity.
  2. Greater Use of Technology: The use of AI and machine learning will likely become even more widespread, leading to more efficient and personalized trading experiences.
  3. Improved Transparency: With traders demanding more transparency, brokers and platforms will need to be more open about their operations and fees.

In summary, the history of binary options is a story of technological advancement and increased transparency. As we look to the future, these trends are set to continue, shaping the way we trade binary options for years to come.

Criticisms and Misunderstandings

Throughout the history of binary options, various criticisms have emerged, often based on misunderstandings or isolated incidents. These critical perspectives have shaped the discourse around binary options as a trading instrument, sometimes casting a shadow over its legitimate uses.

“Binary options are nothing more than betting on financial assets, much like you would bet on the outcome of a sports game.”

This common criticism often arises from a misunderstanding of how binary options work. While it’s true that they involve predicting the outcome of an event, this is also true of many other types of investments.

The key difference is that binary options are based on the price movements of financial assets, not on arbitrary events or the performance of a sports team. Let’s debunk some of these misunderstandings:

  • Misunderstanding 1: Binary options are a scam. While there have been fraudulent activities associated with binary options in the past, the same can be said for any industry. It’s crucial to differentiate between the instrument itself and the people who misuse it. Regulated and reputable brokers offer a legitimate trading platform for binary options.
  • Misunderstanding 2: Binary options are too risky. All forms of trading involve risk. The key is to manage that risk effectively and to only trade with money you can afford to lose.
  • Misunderstanding 3: Binary options are a form of gambling. While there are similarities, such as the aspect of probability, binary options trading requires analysis, strategies and understanding of the market, which separates it from pure gambling.

Now, let’s look at some of the criticisms that have been levelled against binary options over time:

Criticism Explanation
Binary options are complex and opaque. Some critics argue that the mechanics of binary options make them hard to understand, leading to traders making ill-informed decisions. However, with adequate education and practice, traders can gain a good understanding of this instrument.
Binary options can lead to addictive behavior. Like any form of trading, binary options can be addictive for some people, especially due to the short-term nature of trades. It’s important for traders to be aware of this risk and to trade responsibly.
Binary options can lead to significant financial loss. While it’s true that binary options trading can result in loss, this is a risk associated with all forms of trading. The key is to develop an effective risk management strategy.

Key Lessons from the History of Binary Options

The history of binary options is a fascinating journey filled with market trends, technological advancements, and the ever-present need for regulatory diligence.

As one navigates the landscape of binary options, it becomes clear that its resilience and adaptability have been key to its continued relevance in the global financial markets.

Let’s delve into some key lessons from the history of binary options:

According to a 2019 study by the French regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), 89% of binary options traders lose money.

Regulatory Diligence is Essential for Trader Protection

In the early days, binary options were largely unregulated, leading to a surge in fraudulent activities. It became evident that regulation was not only necessary but essential for the protection of traders.

Regulatory bodies across the globe, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), stepped in to regulate the market and protect retail traders.

Regulatory diligence is a recurring theme in the history of binary options, demonstrating its crucial role in safeguarding trader interests and maintaining market integrity.

Market Trends and Technologies Shape the Evolution of Binary Options

man looking at the market trends

Binary options have adapted to various market trends and technological innovations over the years. The advent of the internet and the digital revolution have significantly influenced the trading of binary options, shifting it from traditional trading floors to online platforms.

Technology advancements have not only made binary options more accessible but also streamlined and efficient, paving the way for algorithmic trading and advanced charting tools.

The Resilience and Adaptability of Binary Options in Global Financial Markets

Despite the challenges, binary options have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability. They have weathered regulatory changes, market volatility, and technological disruptions, demonstrating their staying power in the global financial markets.

Binary options’ ability to adapt and evolve in response to changing market conditions and regulatory landscapes attests to their resilience and enduring appeal among traders worldwide.


In the dynamic world of financial trading, binary options have carved a distinctive niche for themselves. From their inception to their current widespread popularity, they have been a source of intrigue, opportunity, and, at times, controversy.

Understanding the history of binary options isn’t just an academic exercise; it’s a crucial insight for traders and enthusiasts who want to thrive in this vibrant marketplace.

The origins of binary options can be traced back to the early 20th century, with the Over-The-Counter (OTC) marketplace serving as its birthplace.

The binary options were quite rudimentary at this stage; nonetheless, they laid the foundation for the sophisticated trading instrument we know today.

Exploring the history of binary options offers us a broader picture, demonstrating how this unique trading instrument has evolved over time and adapted to meet the needs of modern traders.

  • 1973: An important milestone in the history of binary options was the establishment of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). This was the first regulated options trading platform, paving the way for more secure and regulated trading.
  • 2008: The significant year when binary options made their entrance into the mainstream trading arena. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved binary options for listing on major exchanges, opening them up to the general public.
  • Present: Today, binary options are a popular choice amongst traders across the globe, offering a simple and potentially lucrative trading strategy.

While the journey of binary options has been fraught with challenges and changes, it has emerged as a robust and versatile trading instrument. This transformative journey is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of binary options.

Knowing the history of binary options not only enriches our understanding but it also provides a reference point for future developments. As seasoned traders would attest, a good grasp of history is a valuable tool in predicting and navigating future trends.

In conclusion, no matter the twists and turns in the market, binary options have proven their mettle, standing the test of time. As we reflect on the potent past of binary options, we cannot help but be excited about what the future may hold.


The financial products offered by the company carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
Kindly note that this article does not provide any investment advice. The information presented regarding past events or potential future developments is solely an opinion and cannot be guaranteed as factual, including the provided examples. We caution readers accordingly.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Bart Bregman

Author / IQ Option expert: "My name is Bart Bregman, I have 9 years of full-time professional trading experience. I've been trading with IQ Option for more than 7 years, mainly on the shorter time frames doing technical analyses, and have many experience with Binary Options, CFDs, Options, and Crypto trading. There is no such thing as a bad trade! As a digital nomad trader, I'm mostly traveling all over the world. Follow my journey on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bart_bregman/. "

You may also like

Learn Trading Without Any Risk – Free $10,000 Demo Accounts Available!
This is default text for notification bar