Many binary option "brokers" have been exposed as fraudulent operations.[27] In those cases, there is no real brokerage; the customer is betting against the broker, who is acting as a bucket shop. Manipulation of price data to cause customers to lose is common. Withdrawals are regularly stalled or refused by such operations; if a client has good reason to expect a payment, the operator will simply stop taking their phone calls.[13] Though binary options sometimes trade on regulated exchange, they are generally unregulated, trading on the Internet, and prone to fraud.[3]
AMEX (now NYSE American) offers binary options on some exchange-traded funds and a few highly liquid equities such as Citigroup and Google. On the exchange binary options were called "fixed return options" (FROs); calls were named "finish high" and puts were named "finish low".[citation needed] To reduce the threat of market manipulation of single stocks, FROs use a "settlement index" defined as a volume-weighted average of trades on the expiration day. AMEX and Donato A. Montanaro submitted a patent application for exchange-listed binary options using a volume-weighted settlement index in 2005.[65] CBOE offers binary options on the S&P 500 (SPX) and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX).[66] The tickers for these are BSZ[67] and BVZ, respectively.[68] In June 2009 Nadex, a U.S.-based exchange, launched binary options for a range of Forex, commodities, and stock indices' markets.[69]
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A binary option is a financial exotic option in which the payoff is either some fixed monetary amount or nothing at all.[1][2] The two main types of binary options are the cash-or-nothing binary option and the asset-or-nothing binary option. The former pays some fixed amount of cash if the option expires in-the-money while the latter pays the value of the underlying security. They are also called all-or-nothing options, digital options (more common in forex/interest rate markets), and fixed return options (FROs) (on the American Stock Exchange).[3]

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