In November 1994 TerraNova Trading LLC is founded in Chicago by Stuart Townsend and Gerald Putnam in order to establish an electronic securities exchange. Its product, Archipelago, started accepting trading orders on 20 January 1997. Archipelago is one of the first ECNs and a precursor to the Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) that was created in 2001 to facilitate electronic stock trading on US stock exchanges.
In 2005, Archipelago Holdings, the owner of ArcaEx, bought the Pacific Exchange, after what had been a close working relationship since 2001.
As of 1 March 2007, NYSE Arca is the second largest electronic communication network in terms of shares traded. Approximately one out of every six shares traded on the American financial markets is traded on the system. For New York Stock Exchange-listed securities or Tape A, it accounts for just over 10% of the shares traded. For NASDAQ-listed securities, NYSE Arca accounts for approximately 20% of the trading volume. For exchange-traded funds, NYSE Arca accounts for 30-40% of the traded volume.
NYSE Arca's liquidity fee/rebate structure resembles that of other electronic communication networks. In late 2006, it was the first one to offer NASDAQ-style fees on New York Stock Exchange-listed securities, a move that was soon copied by NASDAQ and other electronic communication networks. NYSE Arca charges traders that remove liquidity from the Arca-book $3.00 per 1,000 shares. Traders that add liquidity receive a $2.00 rebate per 1,000 shares. Traders that route orders out of the NYSE Arca system are charged $1.00 per 1,000 shares for Tape A securities and $4.00 per 1,000 shares for other securities.