Some binary options are listed on registered exchanges or traded on a designated contract market that are subject to oversight by United States regulators such as the CFTC or SEC, respectively, but this is only a portion of the binary options market. Much of the binary options market operates through Internet- based trading platforms that are not necessarily complying with applicable U.S. regulatory requirements. The number of Internet-based trading platforms that offer the opportunity to purchase and trade binary options has surged in recent years. The increase in the number of these platforms has resulted in an increase in the number of complaints about fraudulent promotion schemes involving binary options trading platforms.
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For example, some binary options may be securities. Under the federal securities laws, a company may not lawfully offer or sell securities unless the offer and sale have been registered with the SEC or an exemption from such registration applies. For example, if the terms of a binary option contract provide for a specified return based on the price of a company’s securities, the binary option contract is a security and may not be offered or sold without registration, unless an exemption from registration is available. If there is no registration or exemption, then the offer or sale of the binary option to you would be illegal.
You need to understand the implied probability (the true odds of an event occurring) from the binary price. The midpoint between the buy/sell prices is a good indicator of the expected probability of the binary settling at 100. For example, if a binary buy price is $10 and sell price is $14, the midpoint of these amounts is $12. This indicates that the market expects there is only about a 12% probability of the binary settling at 100. In other words, there's only a 12% chance of you winning.

In the online binary options industry, where the contracts are sold by a broker to a customer in an OTC manner, a different option pricing model is used. Brokers sell binary options at a fixed price (e.g., $100) and offer some fixed percentage return in case of in-the-money settlement. Some brokers, also offer a sort of out-of-money reward to a losing customer. For example, with a win reward of 80%, out-of-money reward of 5%, and the option price of $100, two scenarios are possible. In-the-money settlement pays back the option price of $100 and the reward of $80. In case of loss, the option price is not returned but the out-of-money reward of $5 is granted to the customer.[21]
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