Massive ASX blockchain project gets help from New York tech firm

366
blockchain project

NYSE-listed tech firm, VMware, will help the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in the momentous task of replacing its current registry, settlement and clearing systems (CHESS) with a blockchain technology alternative.

The project was first announced by the ASX in 2017 but has since faced significant delays due to the huge and unprecedented scope of the proposed blockchain system.

The new system will be based on the open source smart contract language, known as DAML. DAML has been developed by Digital Asset Holding, a company part-owned by the Australian Securities Exchange.

VMware today signed a three-party memorandum of understanding with the ASX and Digital Asset Holding.

“Providing a state-of-the-art DLT-based system will create new business opportunities for the industry,” said David Tennenhouse, VMware Senior Vice President.

“We’re working closely with Digital Asset Holding and ASX on a combined offering to provide the enterprise-grade foundation for ASX, and we look forward to expanding our relationship.”

The ASX initially hoped the digital ledger system would be implemented by the end of 2020.

Today, ASX Deputy CEO, Peter Hiom, said the project is on track for completion in 2021.

“This new partnership is a very positive development that will help us support a wider range of DLT solutions developed by the industry,” said Mr Hiom.

“It confirms our belief in the potential of DLT as we remain on track to deliver the CHESS replacement system in March-April 2021.”

The first trial-run of the blockchain project was undertaken in May.

More blockchain developments to come

The VMware announcement further highlights the ASX’s desire to become a key player in the distributed ledger space and profit from the development and marketing of blockchain-based financial technology.

The ASX says it plans to work with VMware on “distributed ledger technology initiatives in Australia and New Zealand.”

“While ASX remains initially focused on the replacement of CHESS, the partnership will strengthen its ability to support the financial services industry using the infrastructure to create new services and innovations beyond clearing and settlement,” today’s announcement stated.

“It will also enable ASX, DA, and VMware to work together to provide and support DLT solutions to other customers in Australia and New Zealand. Having signed the MOU, ASX, DA and VMware are now working on full legal documentation.”