Electronic Communications Networks, or ECNs, are electronic trading systems that automatically match buy and sell orders at specified prices. ECNs register with the SEC as broker-dealers.
Those who subscribe to ECNs – institutional investors, broker-dealers, and market-makers – can place trades directly with an ECN. Individual investors must currently have an account with a broker-dealer subscriber before their orders can be routed to an ECN for execution. When seeking to buy or sell securities, ECN subscribers typically use limit orders. ECNs post orders on their systems for other subscribers to view. The ECN will then automatically match orders for execution.
<--Discuss electronic trading of securities, futures, currencies, etc. Include info about various e-trading platforms and interfaces, networks, price matching engines, etc. as needed.-->