The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) says it intends to decide on whether it will migrate to a blockchain-based settlement system by the end of 2017.

The comments stem from a new address to shareholders from ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith today, in which he provided an update on its bid to evaluate whether the technology will eventually underlie its post-trade processes.

In statements, Holliday-Smith provided an update on the work, which it revealed had finished the prototyping stage in mid-August.

Holliday-Smith said:

“We have successfully completed the distributed ledger prototyping stage and have moved on to building an industrial-strength solution that could be used to replace CHESS – our existing cash equities clearing, settlement and sub-registry system.”

A decision on whether to move forward with the blockchain system, Holliday-Smith said, could be made as soon as the second half of 2017.

Elsewhere, he voiced his belief that blockchain and distributed ledgers stand to significantly improve settlement processes. ASX first announced its intent to explore the technology in early 2016, at which time it unveiled that it would work with the New York-based startup Digital Asset Holdings (DAH) on the initiative.

As previously reported, ASX owns 8.5% of DAH, having invested upwards of $20m in the project to date.

Australian $20 bill image via Shutterstock

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