Chi-X Kicks Against ASX’s Move to Replace CHESS with Blockchain 


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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the nation’s primary securities exchange, is putting preparations in top gear to integrate distributed ledger technology (DLT) into its operations and replace the existing Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) with the revolutionary technology. However, Chi-X, ASX’s client and only competitor, has appealed to the region’s competition regulator to point its searchlight into the project to ensure that ASX’s DLT adoption doesn’t give it an unfair advantage, reports Reuters on October 30, 2019.

Chi-X Wary of DLT

As reported by BTCManager in August 2019, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) inked a deal with Digital Asset and VMware, for the development of a blockchain-based system that will replace the current Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) and offer clients better services.

However, the ASX’s move to improve its processes with revolutionary blockchain technology has not gone done well with Chi-X Australia, which is both the ASX’s client and only competitor.

Per sources close to the matter, Chi-X has appealed to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to properly look into ASX’s blockchain project, as it could give the latter an unfair edge over it.

Explaining the reason behind the firm’s call for more oversight on ASX’s blockchain ambition, Michael Somes, Chi-X General Counsel has argued that the new technology could further make competition impossible.

In his words:

There’s a huge moat surrounding the ASX clearing and settlement business, and replacing CHESS with a DLT-based system will perhaps make it bigger. It would be very difficult for the competition to bridge that moat. I’m not saying it won’t happen…but it needs to be regulated as if it won’t.

Blockchain Revolutionizing Finance 

Blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, and other cryptoassets is increasingly gaining traction in various sectors of the global economy, due to its intricate properties which allow users to enhance the efficiency, security, and productivity of their processes.

Already, a good number of large firms and corporations including PNC, IBM and a host of others are actively exploring the potential of DLT, and if all goes as planned, the ASX would join the growing list of large financial markets leveraging blockchain technology.

Commenting on the matter, ASX spokesman said:

We have been working closely with government and regulators, including the ACCC, throughout our CHESS replacement program. We are focused on building a system for the future that will stimulate further innovation and competition.

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