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ASX opens testing center for blockchain-based post-trade system

Tue, 07 May 2019, 10:01 am UTC

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has opened a new Customer Development Environment (CDE) as part of its efforts to replace Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) with a blockchain-based system.

The CDE will allow customers to interact and experiment with the new system. They would be able to design, build and test system changes, access some of the new business functionality, and compare various access options.

Cliff Richards, ASX’s Executive General Manger Equity Post-Trade Services, said that the CDE launch is a major step forward in ASX’s CHESS replacement journey.

“We are proud of this achievement and very grateful for the support of our partner Digital Asset and our customers. While we believe distributed ledger technology offers exciting opportunities for the whole market to innovate, there is much still to do,” he said. “We continue to work closely with our customers as we progress towards delivery of the new system."

According to a press release published today, the first of seven ‘drops’ of software code was made available to customers on April 30. ASX said that additional functionality will be released at approximately eight-week intervals, culminating in full functionality in the CDE by mid-2020.

Customers can connect to the new system directly via a DLT node, which will provide access to real-time, synchronised, source-of-truth data. Other access options, including the ISO 20022 global messaging standard via AMQP and SWIFT, and a web browser for low volume, infrequent usage, are also available, ASX said.

Last September, ASX postponed the deadline for its transition to the blockchain-based system by six months, and was targeting March-April 2021 for its earliest commencement. In its latest announcement, it said that it is “on-track to go-live with the new DLT-based system in March-April 2021.”

“We know our progress is being watched internationally and is an important bellwether for the technology's adoption”, said Peter Hiom, ASX Deputy CEO. “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.”

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