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The ASX is replacing its CHESS share clearing system with blockchain technology
08 December 2017, 07:56 | Hattie Nash
On December 7, 2017, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced that it will use distributed ledger technology to record shareholdings and manage the clearing and settlement of equity transactions in Australia.
Masters hailed the news as a "precedent-setting event", and added that is is the first time that distributed ledger technology has been given a validation by a "major systemically important market infrastructure" whose standards from an enterprise point of view, she said, are as "exacting as they can be".
ASX managing director and CEO, Dominic Stevens, said it had been carefully examining DLT for nearly two-and-a-half years to understand its potential. Digital Asset Holdings LLC, the blockchain startup run by former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Blythe Masters, will supply the technology.
"Having completed this work, we believe that using DLT to replace CHESS will enable our customers to develop new services and reduce their costs, and it will put Australia at the forefront of innovation in financial markets", ASX MD and CEO Dominic Stevens said.
Securities and settlement functions tied to blockchains has been tested by companies looking to change the stock exchange and securities industry.
Further, the exchange operator also revealed that the blockchain software successfully passed two independent security audits by third-party reviewers.
"We're the first exchange to consider taking this step", ASX deputy chief executive officer Peter Hiom said on a media conference call.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the innovative blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies.
DLT software will settle and clear equity trades across a network where participants are known or "permissioned" to have access and must comply with the exchange's ongoing and enforceable obligations.
The go-live date on the new system is yet to be finalised, but the ASX said it will continue to draw on extensive consultation, and the proposed timing for transitioning to the new system will be released at the end of March.
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