Even as online trading has disappointed, or at least affected skepticism as to whether or not a keyboard (or a mouse) can replace a trader, some market players are already peering further down the line - to what happens when all relevant transactions, including those involved in commercial financing, become automated?

"What we are seeing happening is increasingly, dot-corps, large enterprises and exchanges are recognizing that financial services are the key to driving liquidity in whatever market they're going into," said John Macauley, a vice president at A.T. Kearney.

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