The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) recently won their first victory in their blockchain settlement scheme, effecting a test-pilot with Zerocap - a Melbourne-based digital custody provider - to store and trade digital assets on the exchange.
The new platform has been touted by ASX as the replacement to the CHESS platform - the core system that performs the processes of clearing, settlement, asset registration, as well as other post trade services which are critical to the orderly functioning of the market. The replacement platform has been delayed five times since it was announced in the Summer of 2015.
Earlier in August, ASX chief executive Helen Lofthouse confirmed the exchange did not expect the platform to be live before well into 2024. Paul Stonham - DLT Solutions general manager - said:
This in particular is a new business line for the ASX because it’s not an insignificant cost to spin up your own blockchain
Last November, the ASX launched its Distributed Ledger Technology as a service platform called Synfini, and put the call out to the private sector to take the initiative with pilots.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has also announced their work with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre to establish use cases for a central bank digital currency which is expected to include smart contract functionality, faster transaction settlement tests, more transparently and potentially efficiency improvements involving supply chains.
These new developments are significant for the ASX as they signal new industry opportunities, and particularly with the CHESS replacement being a substantial replacement of legacy exchange technology.