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ASX's Blockchain Upgrade Costing Members 'Millions,' Says Industry Body

“The investment required to operate in global markets is getting more and more intense,” said association CEO Judith Fox.

Jul 19, 2021 at 6:12 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:27 p.m. UTC

The head of an Australian professional body for the stockbroking and investment advice industry says a blockchain upgrade to the country's major securities bourse is costing members millions.

  • Judith Fox, CEO of the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association said costs to the group's members were rising as a result of an upgrade to the Australian Securities Exchange's (ASX) aging CHESS system.
  • “Many of our members are spending millions of dollars in order to be able to interact with the new distributed ledger technology that the ASX is implementing,” Fox said.
  • Fox was speaking during the country's Senate economics legislation committee, the Australian Financial Review reported Sunday.
  • An overhaul of the outdated 25-year-old Clearing House Electronic Subregister System, or CHESS, is being replaced by a blockchain-like iteration designed to speed up clearing and settlement.
  • Fox argues members, who aren't only in the business of providing industry advice, are connected in some way to the ASX and "other global exchanges."
  • “The investment required to operate in global markets is getting more and more intense,” said Fox as cited in the report.
  • A spokesperson for the ASX, who was present at the committee, said upgrading would entail some costs and that those costs would need to be determined by customers.
  • “Customers have choice about how they wish to interact with the new CHESS system," the spokesperson said.
  • ASX's blockchain upgrade, a world first, is currently in the testing phase of its development cycle and is expected in 2022-23.

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