Australian Securities Exchange Postpones Blockchain Settlement System Launch

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ASX (Courtesy: Twitter)
ASX (Courtesy: Twitter)

Today the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced it is postponing the launch of its blockchain settlement system CHESS to April 2023. Four months ago, it proposed a year’s delay to April 2022 and opened a public consultation. At go-live, the platform will include features that were originally planned for the version 1.1 release.

As outlined in June, the COVID-19 crisis resulted in a massive spike in ASX trading volumes, which meant the exchange needed to recalibrate scaling demands on the distributed ledger technology (DLT) CHESS system. 

There was also a call to include corporate actions such as dividend reinvestment plans (DRP) and bonus share plans (BSP). That was a topic that received pushback from some share registrars who earlier initiated antitrust complaints against the ASX. Those share registrars, which include Computershare, were pushing for an additional year. So it looks like a win for them.

Another feature that will be available at launch is instant settlement or non-batch bilateral delivery versus payment (DvP). Other additions include more extensive testing.