Blockchain-Based Trading System Steps Closer to ASX Access

The National Stock Exchange of Australia is now in talks with Australia's securities regulator to finalize access for its DLT system to ASX Clear, it said.

Oct 20, 2020 at 9:20 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:11 a.m. UTC

The National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX) said it will soon launch an automated trade clearing and settlement platform based on blockchain technology.

NSX said Tuesday its DLT-based Digital Exchange Subregister System (DESS), part of the ClearPay platform, was approved by the Australian Council of Financial Regulators at its October meeting. It is now working with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on finalizing the process and the date it can go live on the Australian Securities Exchange.

It is aiming to access ASX Clear under the Open Access and Trade Acceptance Service regimes.

DESS is already "technically and operationally ready for service to commence data accumulation and writing to the blockchain," the company said.

As previously reported, DESS is joint venture between NSX and financial services firm iSignthis.

John Karantzis, CEO of iSignthis and NSX, had previously accused the ASX of blocking the venture access to its clearing services. The stock exchange suspended trading in iSignThis shares last October.

ASX said the suspension was in order to hold a review after a market research group raised concerns about iSignthis' disclosures, governance and shareholder structure.

ASX has itself been building a DLT-based clearing house system to replace its ageing CHESS system since 2017.

In a recent announcement, ASIC and the Reserve Bank of Australia told ASX to push on with development with minimal further delays.

NSX said its Nasdaq trading engine will initially be written to both the DESS and CHESS systems.

Unveiled in February, ClearPay uses distributed ledger technology to facilitate same-day settlements and up-to-date accounting between trading participants, the share registry, and the exchange. 

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