Australia’s ASX Ltd (ASX.AX) made an announcement today that it will replace CHESS (its registry, settlement and clearing system) with a private blockchain solution, developed with New York start-up Digital Asset Holdings.
The decision follows two years of testing, and means that ASX will become the first exchange in the world to adopt blockchain technology.
The system will allow market participants, including fund managers, stockbrokers, clearing houses and custodians, to slice operating costs by reducing the reconciliation of different trading systems. ASX said it would provide more detail in March 2018 about the timing for the move and the functionality of the system at its launch, which will be determined after further market consultation.
The ASX’s decision has been welcomed by Australia’s Treasurer, Scott Morrison saying it “puts Australia at the forefront of digital innovation in financial markets and will strengthen our financial system through greater efficiencies”.