ASX "increasingly confident" about blockchain replacement for Chess

ASX "increasingly confident" about blockchain replacement for Chess

Top executives at the Australian Securities Exchange say they are "increasingly confident" about the prospect of replacing their legacy post-trade infrastructure with a platform based on distributed ledger technology.

ASX is due to make a decision in December on whether to dismantle its existing Chess system in favour of a new blockchain-based platform built using technology from US-based Digital Asset Holdings.

With the deadline looming, ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith told investors at the company's annual general meeting: "We are increasingly confident that this technology will help simplify how our marketplace works and should unlock a new era of efficiency and innovation."

The exchange operator has been testing Digital Asset's technology in parallel to the routine running of Chess over the past 18 months, and in June last year paid $7.16 million to increase its stake in the US startup from 5% to 8.5%.

Following Holliday-Smith onto the podium , ASX CEO Dominic Stevens was equally bullish.

In an update on progress, Steven says the Exchange has given over 60 DLT system demonstrations or Chess replacement workshops to more than 110 companies and over 500 attendees from the global financial services industry.

"All this ensures that ASX will be the best informed it can be about the specifications needed for new post-trade infrastructure for the equities market," he told the AGM. "It is a big undertaking, and I am pleased with our progress and the potential of distributed ledger technology to deliver real efficiency gains for the market. We are on track to make an announcement about our assessment of its suitability to replace Chess in December 2017"

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