The Commonidites Futures Trading Comission (CFTC) is an independent agency of the United States government that regulates the futures and options market.
A futures contract is simply a contract between two parties to buy or sell a specified asset of standadrized quality and quantity for a price agreed today (the futures price or strik price) with delivery and payment occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date.
The party agreeing to buy the underlying asset in the future, the "buyer" of the contract, is said to be "long", and the party agreeing to sell the asset in the future, the "seller" of the contract, is said to be "short". The terminology reflects the expectations of the parties—the buyer hopes or expects that the asset price is going to increase, while the seller hopes or expects that it will decrease in near future.
In finance, an option is a derivative financial instrument that specifies a contract between two parties for a future transaction on an asset at a reference price (the strike). The buyer of the option gains the right, but not the obligation, to engage in that transaction, while the seller incurs the corresponding obligation to fulfill the transaction. The price of an option derives from the difference between the reference price and the value of the underlying asset (commonly a stock, a bond, a currency or a futures contract) plus a premium based on the time remaining until the expiration of the option.
"As the trend away from the privately owned bank-conjured currencies continues, history shows irrefutably that there is only one winning side, that of the people’s money. Gold for saving, silver for exchange. Dollars for short-term spending needs." - Michael Maloney