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Australian stock market switches to blockchain delayed until 2022

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has further delayed its move to blockchain after public lobbying by key stakeholders.

According to a June 30 update from ASX, the stock exchange officially delayed the deployment of the distributed ledger infrastructure to replace its current stock transaction processing system. ASX will now publish the project to replace the CHESS electronic sub-register system in April 2022, a year-long push from its most recent schedule.

The exchange cited a number of reasons for the change, including the current pandemic, accommodating the changes requested by stakeholders and providing a greater window of opportunity for development.

Peter Hiom, Deputy General Manager of ASX, said the exchange had listened to the diverse views of stakeholders and taken into account comments on the schedule, user preparation and changes in functionality. He said the new CHESS system would support Australian financial markets for the next decade and beyond. “

Customer feedback results in deferral

Users of the CHESS system lobbied hard to delay the launch of the ASX blockchain system, with some saying the switch was unclear.

The CHESS schedule has been under review since March, when ASX announced that it would begin consultations in June on the deployment due to the pandemic.

Computershare, one of the leading stock registry companies in Australia, put pressure on the ASX during the consultation period, requesting a two-year delay. The company said it had not received critical information about how the blockchain system works or any difference in fees that may be required for the services.

Tony Cunningham, founder of CPS Capital, a Western Australia stockbroker, also suggested that a time frame might be appropriate to better clarify how Distributed Register Technology (DLT) would work at ASX for the share register and the brokerage.

Development of the ASX blockchain project

As one of the first major exchanges to commit to using DLT, ASX has been working on the transition to blockchain since December 2017.

The stock market released the first code for its alternative application development tool based on blockchain technology in May 2019. In October 2019, the Australian subsidiary of market operator Chi-X, ASX’s only competitor at the time, appealed to regulators of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will study the possible effects of blockchain technology on trading activities.

Cointelegraph reported that before the current pandemic, the deployment date of CHESS had been set for April 2021.

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