This course explores the global legal and regulatory framework for futures, swaps, options, and other derivatives, with a focus on the ways that technology and innovation are changing how these markets function and are regulated. High-frequency trading (HFT) firms now use algorithmic trading robots to place trades in futures contracts and other financial instruments in fractions of a second, while the markets for futures and other derivatives are witnessing the rise of digital intermediaries – computers and software programs – that perform the role of traditional intermediaries. Likewise, blockchain technology offers the prospect of settling transactions in a manner that is fundamentally different to the financial industry’s current approach of using overlapping centralized ledgers. Students will analyze the unique challenges that the increasing use of these and similar technologies present for U.S. and international policymakers, regulators, and market participants. Students will learn the overall structure and key provisions of the US regulatory framework and policy perspectives, which will be compared and contrasted with those of other jurisdictions, such as the EU and its member countries, with an emphasis on how the statute, regulations, and precedent are addressing (or not addressing) issues brought about by technological advances, such as market manipulation by algorithmic robots. Class participation is expected. Students will be graded on one long paper and several smaller writing assignments.