Australian Securities Exchange Delays Blockchain Settlement System Launch

Announcements, Blockchain, News | September 4, 2018 By:

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has delayed its switchover to blockchain technology by six months to devote more time for user development and testing.

In December 2017, the ASX announced that it would replace its Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) with a distributed ledger technology (DLT) developed by Digital Asset Holdings. In April, the ASX said that it plans to launch the blockchain network during the last quarter of 2020.

However, in its new “CHESS Replacement: New Scope and Implementation Plan,” the ASX decided to “push back the earliest commencement date for the new system from Q4 2020 to target March-April 2021” in response to industry concerns over the aggressive implementation timeframe. The exchange will also extend a user development testing period and an industry-wide testing phase for another six months, respectively.

ASX said it received 41 written submissions and feedback from a number of working groups, with stakeholders questioning whether the implementation window was achievable given the significance of the technology change and the range of new scope being introduced.

Many respondents raised a number of clarifying questions around the timeline for release management and the testing environments. They requested earlier access to system documentation, a detailed timetable for documentation release, a longer period between technical documentation release and commencement of testing, and more information on the types of testing in each environment.”

In response, the ASX said that it will provide technical documentation at least three months prior to each incremental software release into the customer development environment.

“The first set of technical documentation will be released in December 2018 covering a subset of core clearing and settlement services,” the ASX said.