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  5. Background & History: Traded Volume & the Footprint® Chart

Background & History: Traded Volume & the Footprint® Chart

In 2003, a company called MarketDelta founded by Trevor Harnett started offering software that delivered a new type of chart – the Footprint® chart. This was billed as the only chart to have been developed specifically for traders after electronic markets were created containing all data relating to price and volume.

For each bar and each price level, the Footprint chart displays the quantity of market orders that traded at each price. The numbers on the right show the volume of contracts bought with market orders lifting the offer; the numbers on the left show the volume of contracts that were sold with market orders hitting the bid.

Using this information we can start to interpret order flow based upon traded volume.

Footprint is a registered trademark of MarketDelta so you’ll find that different software vendors name their charts that display information in this way by different names, for example, Sierra Chart ‘Numbers Bars’, Ninja Trader ‘Volumetric Bars’, MotiveWave ‘Volume Imprint’, MultiCharts ‘Volume Delta’, etc.

MarketDelta initially delivered Footprint charts using a custom white label version of Linnsoft Investor R/T. From 2016, the MarketDelta offering was based upon a custom white label version of CQG Integrated Client. In 2018 Market Delta filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection following several years of defending itself against litigation.

Various platform and indicator vendors offer ‘order flow’ software. What they mean by this can be very different:

  • an implementation of a Footprint chart as an add-in or native component of a trading platform displaying the quantity of market orders that traded at each price
  • indicators that interpret the data that is displayed within a Footprint chart
  • a Depth Of Market (DOM) price ladder displaying liquidity and enabling trades to be placed
  • indicators that interpret DOM data

The emoji trading Order Flow Suite is add-in software for selected trading platforms that interprets the traded volume data (that a Footprint chart displays) to provides indications of supply and demand. It does not require a Footprint chart to display these indications – they can be displayed on a simple candlestick chart. How these levels react to future trading is tracked by taking order flow into consideration and displayed using EmojiZone Visualizations.

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