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Australian Stock Exchange to Roll out Blockchain Settlements in 2021

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:03 PM
Jimmy Aki
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:03 PM

Australia’s leading market operator, ASX Limited disclosed plans being put in place to release blockchain technology for settlements in 2021. The company, however, does not feel overwhelmed by the deja-vu that has trailed the nascent technology, according to a Bloomberg  report.

ASX Limited has subscribed to the Clearing House Electronic Subregister System  (CHESS) over the years but is now ready to replace it with the more novel and innovative blockchain, a digitized, decentralized and distributed ledger technology. The overhauling is part of the exchange’s upgrade which deputy chief executive officer Peter Hiom described as an approach that has barely deviated from the norm.

CHESS is still being used to facilitate the legal ownership of a security from a seller to a buyer and also for processing monetary transactions involving the two parties. In spite of being an electronic book register, the innovation which blockchain is expected to bring on board will yield more efficiency.

“We’re not entering the fourth dimension here,” Hiom stated in an interview.

“It’s a database that lets you do a bunch of things more efficiently than you can do at the moment.”

Blockchain application should provide the required backup ensuring data are kept up to date and synchronized in such a way that removes the inconsistency. Hiom attested to this fact saying:

“There is a blockchain that is synchronizing my data store with yours, but the data store itself is a database that exists today. The innovation is the decentralized ledger that lets a client see ASX’s data. It’s taken an awful lot of risk and cost out of your back office because it is never the case that what you’ve got doesn’t match what I’ve got.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Stock market today closed 0.2% lower at 5269, recording a decline for a fourth consecutive season. The recent slump has been ascribed to the fall in the price of crude oil and plummeting shares of some other notable companies on the exchange.

While ASX executives are not willing to make any fuss about their imminent transition to the blockchain, there are a good number of other organizations who see such development as a big deal that could help ease the process of stock issuance and trading.

Earlier this week, Canada’s stock exchange operator TMX Group Limited adopted distributed ledger technology in clearing and settling securities on an integrated platform which is part of a more significant project known as the Jasper Research Initiative.

ASX sees it as an improvement but not necessarily as a feat. “It’s a very clever architecture, but it is just a database architecture. It doesn’t sound very sexy when you say it that way, but that’s kind of what it is,” Hiom added.

Featured image from Shutterstock.