ASX Is Letting Clients Test Its In-the-Works Blockchain Settlement System

Through its newly opened Customer Development Environment (CDE), ASX customers can connect to the system via a blockchain node and experiment with the tech, the exchange announced Tuesday. 

Once connected, users can design, build and test system changes, as well as access some of the new business functionality.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is now allowing clients to test its in-development blockchain-based equities clearing and settlement system.

Peter Hiom, deputy CEO at ASX, said:

“It represents the first time market participants anywhere in the world can experience the benefits of ‘taking a node’ and establishing direct connectivity to a golden source record of real-time data via distributed ledger technology.”

The ASX  – Australia’s top securities exchange – further said that it is expecting to release additional features to the CDE every eight weeks and a full feature set by mid-2020.

The system is planned to replace the ASX’s existing decades-old CHESS clearing house system, and has been under development with the exchange’s tech partner Digital Asset since 2017.

Digital Asset CEO Yuval Rooz said in the announcement that the opening of the client test environment is an “important milestone” for everyone involved in the CHESS replacement project, which is progressing as per ASX’s timeline.

ASX first showed interest in blockchain tech as far back as 2015, as it sought to cut the cost and time it takes for messaging on its CHESS system. The exchange’s managing director and CEO, Dominic Stevens, recently said that the new system could help the industry save as much as $23 billion by ushering new efficiencies.

In Tuesday’s release, the exchange said it is “on-track” to go live with the blockchain system in March or April 2021, a year later than had previously been planned.

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