The rise of the digital insurance marketplace

Last May marked the 229th anniversary of the Buttonwood Agreement, which organized securities trading in New York, laying the groundwork for what would become the New York Stock Exchange. Its beginnings were modest; the 24 Buttonwood signatories traded mainly government bonds and commodities, and they competed fiercely with regional exchanges to bring the benefits of a structured marketplace—liquidity, price transparency and innovation—to businesses and individuals. The introduction of the telegraph, the breakthrough technology of the era, made these new marketplaces more efficient, drawing in more participants and helping to support the nation’s economic growth.