ASX opens testing environment for new post-trade blockchain system

The ASX has opened a new Customer Development Environment (CDE) for users to test and interact with the new clearing and settlement system.

By Joe Parsons

Clearing banks and custodians have been granted a first glimpse of what the Australia Securities Exchange’s (ASX) upcoming blockchain-based post-trade system will look like with the launch of a new testing environment.

The ASX has opened a new Customer Development Environment (CDE) for users to test and interact with the new clearing and settlement system, based on technology developed by Digital Asset.

The first of seven ‘drops’ of software code were made available to users on 30 April. Additional functionality will be released at approximately eight-week intervals, culminating in a full functionality of the CDE by mid-2020.

“While we believe distributed ledger technology (DLT) offers exciting opportunities for the whole market to innovate, there is much still to do. We continue to work closely with our customers as we progress towards delivery of the new system,” said Cliff Richards, executive general manager, equity post-trade services, ASX.

The opening of the CDE allows clearing banks, custodians and market participants to interact and experiment with the new system. Once connected, users can design, build and test system changes, access new business functionalities, and compare various access options.

Users can connect to the blockchain system directly via a DLT node, which provides access to real-time, synchronised, source-of-truth data. Other options are also available including the ISO 20022 global messaging standard via SWIFT, as well as through a web browser.

ASX stated it is on track with its go-live date for the new DLT post-trade system in March-April 2021.

“We know our progress is being watched internationally and is an important bellwether for the technology’s adoption,” said Peter Hiom, deputy CEO, ASX.

“It represents the first time market participants anywhere in the world can experience the benefits of ‘taking a node’ and establishing direct connectivity to a golden source of real-time data via DLT.”

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