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Nasdaq, Clearing Firms Trial Blockchain Solution That Settles Calls In Minutes

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Nasdaq, the leading market services provider, and three clearing services companies in Europe - ABN Amro Clearing, EuroCCP and Euroclear - successfully tested a blockchain solution that settled margin calls within minutes.

A statement said they completed a joint proof of concept to make the use of securities more efficient when used to cover margin calls, including after business hours, using blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, or DLT.

The solution demonstrated that a shared, resilient network can be built between collateral givers, collateral takers and intermediaries.

"Clearing participants and CCPs were able to optimise their collateral positions through a collateral dashboard."

Currently, a CCP margin call needs to be covered by euro collateral within a short time frame. Options are limited after the regular hours of central banks and central securities depositories, usually ending at 18 hrs CET.

The need to provide an efficient securities collateral solution became urgent as an increasing number of buy-side market participants are centrally clearing their derivatives trades.

Nasdaq developed the proof of concept for the DLT nodes, while ABN AMRO Clearing, EuroCCP and Nasdaq Clearing created a specific front-end and managed integration into their own environments.

The underlying collateral transfers were processed by Euroclear's Central Securities Depository, thus ensuring settlement finality and regulatory compliance.

Using securities as collateral is expected to make clearing through CCPs more attractive and cheaper for buy-side market participants.

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