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Australian Securities Exchange Confirms Blockchain Adoption In 2021

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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) confirmed its intention to use blockchain in its operations in Australia and New Zealand after teaming up with New York-based blockchain developer Digital Asset and cloud computing software provider VMware.

On the strength of the deal, the ASX will develop a DLT-based system to replace the exchanges 25-year old Clearing House Electronic Subregister (CHESS) system. ASX said it is on-track to go-live with the new DLT-based system in March-April 2021, not late 2020 as planned earlier.

Digital Asset is a DLT developer, creator of DAML and ASX's CHESS replacement technology partner. DAML is the open source smart contract programming language used to build distributed applications.

CHESS is the computer system used by the ASX to record shareholdings and manage the settlement of share transactions. While ASX works on the implementation of DLT, it will continue to maintain and make available CHESS.

The ASX has already opened the Customer Development Environment (CDE) for its new DLT-based equities clearing and settlement system to replace CHESS.

The opening of the CDE has allowed customers to explore the clearing and settlement functionality of the new system. Once connected, users can design, build and test system changes, access some of the new business functionality, and compare various access options.

ASX commenced a process of evaluating replacement options for CHESS in 2015. In January 2016, ASX had selected Digital Asset as a technology partner to develop, test and demonstrate to ASX a working prototype of a post-trade platform for the cash equity market using DLT.

The DLT-based system is expected to bring greater benefits such as better record keeping, reduced reconciliation, more timely transactions, and better quality data.

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