The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to blockchain, according to its CEO.
Nikhil Rathi told CNBC in an interview published Thursday that the LSE has noticed several “interesting” ideas from rival stock exchanges and will see which ones “gain market traction” before making any moves in the space itself.
Other stock exchanges have been more proactive with the technology to date. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is notably rebuilding its ageing CHESS settlement system with help from distributed ledger startup Digital Asset.
Perhaps hinting at areas in which the LSE might already be eyeing the tech, Rathi told CNBC:
Early this year, LSE Group led a $20 million seed funding round for capital markets blockchain startup Nivaura. Rathi also joined the startup's board at the time.
Nivaura aims to automate the entire life cycle for the issuance of financial instruments – bonds, equities, derivatives – using blockchain technology. LSE Group and Nivaura have also worked together on the issuance of tokenized securities as part of the regulatory sandbox program of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In a related effort last month, blockchain startup 20|30 raised £3 million ($3.93 million) in a sale of tokenized shares in a test environment on a LSE Group-operated platform.
For now, though, the stock exchange appears appears in no rush to make any direct use of the technology.
London Stock Exchange image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.