Thursday, May 21, 2020

Equity Trader Alert #2020 - 28
Nasdaq will Retire CTCI Protocol for FINRA / Nasdaq TRF and ACES in the Fourth Quarter 2021


  • Testing
  • Service Change

Markets Impacted:

Contact Information:


Pending filing and approval by the SEC, effective Monday, November 22, 2021,1 Nasdaq is retiring the CTCI protocol for the FINRA/Nasdaq Trade Reporting Facility Carteret (“FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret”) and ACES services. Starting January 1, 2021, Nasdaq will no longer accept requests for new or additional CTCI ports. Clients should follow the steps outlined below to request new FIX connections before retiring their CTCI connections.

Currently, Nasdaq supports both CTCI (CTCI/TCP; CTCI/MQ) and FIX protocols for FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret 2. Nasdaq also offers CTCI and FIX service for ACES, a bi-lateral equity order routing service. The retirement of CTCI for the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret and ACES aligns connectivity options for Nasdaq Quoting, Trading and Trade Reporting services and follows similar actions by FINRA. 3 Any CTCI clients, including broker-dealers or Service Bureaus, that wish to continue to deliver electronic transactions to the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret or ACES will need to migrate to the FIX protocol by no later than Friday, November 19, 2021.

From now until Friday, November 19, 2021, clients may run CTCI and FIX concurrently to ensure a successful transition. Clients will not be required to maintain a formal CTCI-FIX parallel period and can migrate to the FIX service as soon as they are ready.

Clients should contact Nasdaq Subscriber Services or call (212) 231-5180 to begin the migration to FIX service and follow the steps below.

Step Task Contact
Add FIX and remove CTCI services Complete FINRA Services Port Request Form or Nasdaq Equities Port Request Form to establish and/or remove port connections. Nasdaq Subscriber Services (212) 231-5180
Develop FIX software messaging layer Code to the FIX for Trade Reporting or FIX for Order Entry Specifications Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180
Test FIX in the Nasdaq Test Facility Establish a testing timeframe with Trading Services and notify NTF Billing. Customers can perform production connectivity and software testing starting now. Free testing is available for 30-day period. Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180
Test FIX in Production Work with Nasdaq to understand which weekends are available for production connectivity and software testing. Nasdaq lists Saturday testing dates here. Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180
Cut-over to FIX production service Client determines the go-live date and informs Nasdaq. Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180

Testing Fees:

Clients may test software free of charge in the Nasdaq Test Facility (NTF) for 30 calendar days. Once a client informs the Nasdaq of their starting test date, the free period will begin and cannot be interrupted; must be notified at the commencement of testing. After the 30-day period ends, normal NTF fees will apply for anyone connecting and testing.

Nasdaq will post additional technical notices for CTCI testing opportunities following SEC approval.

Nasdaq® is registered trademarks of Nasdaq, Inc.

FINRATM, Trade Reporting FacilityTM and TRFTM are trademarks of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; FINRA/NASDAQ TRFTM is used under license for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.


1: CTCI Retirement date is subject to change based on SEC approval.

2: In Sept 2018, FINRA and Nasdaq launched the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Chicago solely with FIX 4.2 connectivity. For more information, see ETA2018-41

3: On August 16, 2018, FINRA notified customers that it will no longer support CTCI protocol for TRACE and ORF, effective February 3, 2020. See FINRA Technical Notice to Terminate CTCI Protocol for TRACE and ORF. FINRA extended the CTCI protocol retirement for Reporting Trades to TRACE and ORF to March 16, 2020. See FINRA Technical Notice to Terminate CTCI Protocol for TRACE and ORF - Final Reminder

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