The Australian Securities Exchange is to lift its stake in blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings, reinforcing its determination to press ahead with plans to develop a new post-trade platform based on distributed ledger technology.
Earlier this year, the Australian stock market operator invested $14.9 million in the US-based blockchain startup to acquire a 5% shareholding, fund an initial phase of development, and purchase warrants that gave it the right to take up an additional five percent stake and appoint a director.
With a beta test phase of the technology set to run in 2017, the ASX has exercised a portion of its options, paying $7.16 million to increase its holdings to 8.5%.
In a presentation to investors earlier this month, the Australian exchange says it expects to spend $50 million on its technology transformation programme during the course of 2016.
Development of the distributed ledger-based platform will take place in parallel with routine updates to the existing Chess system, with a final decision on the future market design to be made in late 2017.