Chart Exchanges

What is an Exchange?

An exchange is a marketplace in which financial instruments are traded in a fair and orderly fashion. Exchanges may host a wide variety of financial instruments, specialize in just a few, or offer the trading of only one type of financial asset. In todays society, most exchanges offer an online trading platform in which traders from all around the world or certain jurisdictions can participate in the trading and exchange of financial instruments. These online exchanges are presented through services called online trading brokerages which are companies who provide all the necessary tools, features, and services required for an exchange to operate smoothly. While most traders conduct trading through an electronic/online exchange, there are companies who have physical locations as well where traders are able to get together to conduct business and exchange financial instruments and assets. These types of exchanges are the most prominent and are located in the most well-developed countries around the world.

For instance, such exchanges include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), and the Nasdaq. Exchanges like these are largely what the markets are based on and account for a very large and significant amount of capital in the markets.

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Types of Exchanges

As mentioned in the paragraph above, not all exchanges are the same. Some may host a wide variety of financial instruments, just a few, or only one type of instrument or tradeable asset. As well, these financial instruments and assets can be apart of numerous different markets and online trading brokerages/exchanges may specialize in only one or many. Let’s delve into some of the most popular types of exchanges below.

Stock Exchange

A Stock exchange, also referred to as a securities exchange, is an exchange where stock brokers and traders can participate in the buying and selling of securities such as stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. Companies who become publicly traded can get listed on stock exchanges in the hopes to grow and raise capital by having investors buy shares in their company.

Forex Exchange

The foreign exchange market (Forex or FX) is by far the largest market in the world as it is a globally decentralized market for the trading of currencies. The primary participant in this market is large international banks, but traders from all over the world can participate through online trading brokerages who offer forex trading on their platforms.

Crypto Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchanges are the latest type of exchange to hit the global markets. These exchanges facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrency assets and operate 24/7. Crypto exchanges are largely unregulated as regulatory authorities and governments around the world have yet to decide how to treat these particular types of financial instruments.

Commodities Exchange

A commodities exchange facilitates the trading of various commodities and derivatives products. These products may include agricultural and raw materials such as (wheat, barley, sugar, coffee, oil, metals, etc.) Commodities exchanges can be traded on contracts that include spot prices, forwards, futures and options on futures.


There are various type of exchanges and markets in which traders can participate in. Often times, online trading brokerages will provide traders with the ability to trade in many or all of these exchanges markets. However, some will specialize in only one type of exchange, such as cryptocurrency exchanges. While we did not list every type of exchange in the points above, the most popular and widely traded exchanges were mentioned here.