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ASX teams up with Digital Asset and VMware on DLT offerings

Image: ASX (Twitter)

Mon, 26 Aug 2019, 10:58 am UTC

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) teaming up with blockchain startup Digital Asset and VMware, a leading cloud computing software provider, to launch distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives in Australia and New Zealand.

According to a press release dated August 26, ASX has signed a three-party memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Digital Asset (DA) and VMware in order to provide its DLT offering with support from these firms.

“This will include the development of the application to replace CHESS (ASX’s equities clearing and settlement system), the support of DAML (the open source smart contract programming language used to build distributed applications), and the provision and support of the distributed ledger and associated infrastructure, which delivers ASX’s data privacy, confidentiality and security requirements at greater scale,” the release said.

ASX currently uses CHESS to record shareholdings and manage the clearing and settlement of equity transactions in Australia. In early 2016, it selected Digital Asset to replace CHESS with a blockchain-based platform.

VMware, on the other hand, is an existing supplier of virtualisation and infrastructure solutions to ASX.

ASX emphasized that although it remains focused on building the replacement of CHESS, the collaboration will strengthen its ability to support the financial services industry using the infrastructure to create new services and innovations beyond clearing and settlement. The companies will work together to provide and support DLT solutions to other customers in Australia and New Zealand.

“Providing a state-of-the-art DLT-based system will create new business opportunities for the industry,” said David Tennenhouse, Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer at VMware. “We’re working closely with DA and ASX on a combined offering to provide the enterprise-grade foundation for ASX, and we look forward to expanding our relationship.”

Last September, ASX announced that it has pushed back the rollout of the blockchain-based system from Q4 2020 to target March-April 2021. It is currently deploying the system within its Customer Development Environment, allowing customers and their service providers to explore clearing and settlement functionality of the new system.

“This new partnership is a very positive development that will help us support a wider range of DLT solutions developed by the industry. It confirms our belief in the potential of DLT as we remain on track to deliver the CHESS replacement system in March-April 2021,” Peter Hiom, ASX Deputy CEO, said.

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