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World First: ASX successfully completes blockchain settlement scheme.

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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) successfully completed the world’s first blockchain settlement scheme in an effort to streamline operations. It completed a test pilot with Zerocap, a Melbourne-based digital custody provider. The blockchain settlement scheme shows how ASX-listed companies could store and trade all kinds of digital assets on the exchange.

This is quite significant for ASX as it could open profitable new business opportunities for the platform to become the dominant record of digitally conducted business as more assets and agreements are conducted through blockchains. The Australian Securities Exchange wants to become a global leader in the adoption of blockchain technology after numerous technical troubles with its CHESS replacement.

Paul Stonham, general manager at DLT Solutions – a unit inside the ASX – said this is a new business line for the ASX because it’s not an insignificant cost to spin up one’s own blockchain. He said they are seeing more businesses interested in building applications on top of it. The ASX launched its Distributed Ledger Technology, in November 2021, for businesses to develop pilot runs. It’s called Synfini whereby developers, fund managers, and custodians can build applications that run on the DLT platform. And the ASX will manage on their behalf.

Ryan McCall, co-founder, and CEO of Zero cap, said one of the biggest issues in crypto is counterparty risk – in regards to the odds that a partner in a transaction might default on its contractual obligations. He explained that ASX offers investor protections that they make sure share trades are recorded properly and that settlement takes place. McCall believes that attaching a digital asset, or token, to a contract, product or service is emerging as a useful way for businesses to streamline processes that involve physical transactions or substantial administration.

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