Timeline of CME Achievements

We are responsible for serving you with key developments that have built today’s futures industry, including the birth of futures trading. These include the standardization of futures contracts, formation of the clearing process, and introduction of financial futures, cash-settlement and electronic trading. We have demonstrated ongoing leadership in developing creative products, breakthrough trading technology and a superior business model through a continuing series of firsts. Our collective legacy spans three centuries of unique contributions to the financial markets.


1848 - CBOT creates the world’s first futures exchange, based in Chicago

1851 - CBOT offers earliest “forward” contract ever recorded; forward contracts begin to gain popularity among merchants and processors

1865 - CBOT formalizes grain trading with the development of standardized agreements called “futures” contracts, world’s first such agreements CBOT creates world’s first futures clearing operation when it begins requiring performance bonds, called “margin,” to be posted by buyers and sellers in its grain markets

1870 - CBOT develops first octagonal futures trading pit

1885 - To accommodate rapid growth of futures trading, CBOT constructs a new building at LaSalle and Jackson, Chicago’s tallest building and first commercial structure with electric lights

1898 - Chicago Butter and Egg Board, predecessor of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, opens in Chicago


1919 - Chicago Butter and Egg Board becomes Chicago Mercantile Exchange CME Clearing House established

1926 - CBOT founds Board of Trade Clearing Corporation to guarantee its trades

1936 - CBOT launches soybean contract

1961 - CME launches first futures contract on frozen, stored meats —frozen pork bellies

1964 - CME launches first agricultural futures based on non-storable commodities — live cattle

1968 - CBOT begins trading its first non-grain- related commodity, futures on chickens

1969 - CBOT begins trading its first non-agricultural product, with a silver futures contract

1972 - CME launches first financial futures contracts, offering contracts on seven foreign currencies

1975 - CBOT launches first interest rate futures, offering a contract on the Government National Mortgage Association

1981- CME launches first cash-settled futures contract, Eurodollar futures

1982 - CME launches first successful stock index futures contract, S&P 500 Index futures CBOT launches first options on futures contract for U.S. Treasury Bond futures

1987 - CME pioneers electronic futures trading with conceptualization and initiation of development of CME Globex platform

1992 - First electronic futures trades are made on CME Globex electronic trading platform

1997 - CME develops and launches the first mini-sized, all electronic futures contract, E-mini S&P 500 futures CBOT Dow Jones Industrial Average contract introduced

1999 - CME launches first weather-based futures contracts


2002 - CME becomes first U.S. exchange to go public; stock is listed on New York Stock Exchange

2003 - CBOT agrees to have CME Clearing clear its products, resulting in extensive capital efficiencies for market participants

2005 - CBOT demutualizes and becomes publicly traded company, listed on New York Stock Exchange

2006 - CBOT and CME sign an agreement to merge into a single company pending regulatory and shareholder approval CBOT launches electronic agricultural futures trading Launch of NYMEX products on CME Globex CME and Reuters agree to form first centrally cleared global FX platform for OTC market—FXMarketSpace

2007 - CME and CBOT officially merge to form CME Group Inc., the world’s leading derivatives marketplace

2008 - CME Group acquires NYMEX, adding energy and metals to its wide array of product offerings

2008 - CME Group and BM&FBOVESPA, Latin America’s largest derivatives exchange, launch a landmark partnership that enables worldwide distribution of BM&F products on CME Globex

2009 - CME Group completes its New York trading floor integration, a key milestone following its 2008 acquisition of NYMEX. The integration included the reconfiguration of the energy trading floor and combining the energy and metals futures and options trading rings onto one trading floor

2010 - CME Group’s Global Command Center opens. The 35,000 square foot facility, located at CME Group headquarters, brings the Globex Control Center, Technology Operations and all other critical support teams together in one space

2011 - CME Group continues to make global advancements by opening its 10th global office in Seoul, South Korea

2011 – CME Group Launches European clearing services via CME Clearing Europe

2012 - CME Group Co-Location Services, comprised of hosting, connectivity and support services, successfully launches at its data center, allowing for the lowest latency connection possible for all CME Group Globex products

2012 - KCBT becomes part of CME Group, bringing together the KCBT suite of hard red winter wheat products with the deep and liquid CBOT soft red winter wheat products

2013 - KCBT Wheat is cleared on CME Clearing

2013 - KCBT Trading Floor closes and relocates to the CBOT Trading Floor

CME Group Center for Innovation

CME Group has continually embraced change and fostered an entrepreneurial spirit that has enabled our exchanges - as well as the futures industry - to grow and prosper. The CME Group Center for Innovation creates and sponsors thought-provoking original programming that identifies, showcases and fosters examples of significant innovation and creative thinking across multiple industries.

Learn more about the CME Group Center for Innovation.