It's one of the most confounding questions facing regulators in the fight to phase out the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR): How do you wean everyone from asset managers and traders to corporate treasurers off derivatives that are so ubiquitous, they've become part of the fabric of the financial system?

For the better part of three years, U.S. officials have been preaching patience. LIBOR-based interest-rate swaps, futures, and options—among the most liquid markets in the world—would gradually give way to new securities tied to new benchmarks, they said, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), anointed successor to dollar LIBOR.

Yet activity in those markets isn't disappearing. What's more, acceptance of alternative products has been slow. While some headway has been made, average open interest in three-month SOFR futures barely topped 5 percent that of eurodollar contracts last month. And recent high-profile milestones in the LIBOR transition that were expected to jumpstart trading in the new instruments have delivered relatively modest boosts so far.

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