A pit, trading pit, ring, or trading ring is a specially constructed area on the trading floor of some exchanges where trading in futures or options is conducted. All futures trading was conducted in one of these physical areas until the beginning of the 1990s when electronic futures trading debuted, and the move to electronic in the U.S. has been rapid, but not as rapid as in Europe where Liffe and French exchange MATIF did virtually "overnight" moves from trading floor to electronic trading.
Today electronic trading has taken over the majority of transactions in both futures and options, and newly established exchanges have come on board as fully electronic from the git-go, including Eurex, Intercontinental Exchange, the International Securities Exchange, and numerous others.
The move to electronic trading by the traditional floor-based futures markets has been especially pronounced on futures contracts, with electronic trading of options on futures not nearly as high on the adoption scale. However, adoption rates vary by market.