The Australian Securities Exchange is to delay the implementation of its long-awaited Chess replacement system due to the uncertainty created by the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic.
The ASX has been working with DLT specialist Digital Asset since 2017 to replace its Chess post-trade settlement system with a blockchain-based platform.
The Exchange says that in June it will seek user input on the a schedule that will move the go-live date from April 2021 to an as-yet unspecified later date. In the meantime, the target of opening an Industry Test Environment (ITE) in July is retained.
The latest delay to the schedule will provide additional time for users to complete their operational readiness activities and to consider the rule changes that accompany the new system, says the Exchange. It will also increase the time available for back office software developers to familiarise themselves with the new system in a production-like testing environment.
ASX Deputy CEO Peter Hiom says: “In this environment of heightened volatility and activity levels, the industry needs to focus on day-to-day operations. We will therefore wait until June to consult on the new timetable when we expect everyone will have more time to consider the replan and better assess the implications of Covid-19
“ASX remains fully committed to Chess replacement. We continue to progress the project, including system development and testing, supporting back office software developers, and assisting users in their readiness activities. The investments we are making in the new system and in distributed ledger technology are for the long-term benefit of the financial services industry and the Australian economy.”