ASX Affirms Blockchain Support Following CEO Departure

ASX remains committed to its plans for potential blockchain integration even after the man who helped lead the project resigned.

AccessTimeIconMar 23, 2016 at 4:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:11 p.m. UTC
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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) says it remains committed to its plans for potential blockchain integration after the CEO who helped lead the project abruptly resigned.

ASX's acting boss, chairman Rick Holliday-Smith, told Bloomberg that he views distributed ledger technology as a "unique opportunity" for Australia to become a leader in the financial technology space.

"The ASX board is committed to the development of distributed ledger technology," Holliday-Smith wrote in an email to Bloomberg, according to a report today. A letter signed by the chairman, also dated today, revealed that the exchange expects to make a decision regarding blockchain's "suitability" by the middle of next year.

Yesterday, ASX announced in a statement that the company's previous CEO, Elmer Funke Kuppar, had resigned after four-and-a-half years on the job.

News of Funke Kupper’s resignation prompted multiple local reports to speculate that, without the person who had spear-headed the exchange's exploration to move some of its post-trade services to the blockchain, the technology’s role might be reevaluated.

As part of ASX's push into the blockchain industry, the exchange invested $10m for a 5% stake in Digital Asset Holdings in January. In total, Digital Asset eventually raised $60m as part of its bid to build blockchain services for securities settlement

The Australian exchange is part of a larger push by established and startup companies to embrace blockchain as part of post-trade services.

In January 2015, the New York Stock Exchange joined a $75m investment in Coinbase. By December, Nasdaq had issued its first private securities using Linq, a blockchain-based service, and Overstock's tØ platform received permission from the SEC to issue its own stock on the blockchain.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported ASX's investment in Digital Asset terms in Australian dollars.

Brisbane image via Shutterstock

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