Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)


The term Intercontinental Exchange refers to a market where buyers and sellers can negotiate and enter into futures contracts. ICE operates over twenty regulated exchanges and marketplaces throughout the world.


Also referred to as ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange is an organization made up of over twenty marketplaces throughout the world. The organization was established by Jeffrey Sprecher in May 2000. Sprecher had some experience in the power exchange market, and the initial purpose of ICE was to provide a more efficient structure for the trading of energy.

Since its inception, several mergers and acquisitions expanded the reach of ICE futures to include:

  • Agricultural products such as sugar, cotton, coffee and cocoa
  • Credit derivatives including contracts that replicate the performance and economics of credit default swaps
  • Environmental products such as carbon, acid rain and renewable energy
  • A comprehensive portfolio of additional commodities and financial products such as currency contracts, precious metals and equity indices

Trading of bilateral agreements occurs 24 hours a day, except during maintenance windows which typically occur during weekdays from around 6:05 p.m. through 6:55 p.m. Eastern Time and weekends from Friday at 6:05 p.m. through Sunday 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Related Terms

NYMEX, COMEX, Chicago Board of Trade