Capital markets News

ASX stock exchange in blockchain tokenization trial

asx australian securities exchange

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is known for its blockchain-based post-trade settlement project, CHESS, which was recently delayed to 2025. Last November, ASX also launched a blockchain as a service offering, Synfini. Melbourne digital asset investment firm Zerocap worked with the ASX on a proof of concept to showcase Synfini’s ability to support tokenized assets, with Zerocap providing custody.

The goal is that ASX can provide a platform not just for securities but also for digital assets. Although for now, the focus is not on cryptocurrencies.

“We’re not talking about bitcoin here,” said Ryan McCall, CEO of Zerocap, talking to the Australian Financial Review. Zerocap was also involved in the recent pilot of ANZ’s stablecoin.

McCall continued, “We’re talking about the tokenisation of anything, of bonds, property, carbon credits, anything that needs liquidity to settle, and anything that has a trade cycle of days.”

Zerocap integrated its custody business on the ASX DLT and built a trading, clearing and settlement app to demonstrate to investors. 

The idea is that other institutions will want to do the same. Synfini enables organizations to launch their own blockchain solutions using the same technology that underpins the CHESS settlement system, the DAML smart contract language and VMWare Blockchain.

Meanwhile, other stock exchanges are embracing tokenization. For example, SIX went live with its SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) last year. The Japan Exchange Group, the owner of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, plans to launch tokenized stocks by 2025. And Deutsche Boerse has made multiple investments, including a crypto firm, a carbon exchange and a tokenization startup.

Europe and the UK are launching sandboxes to allow blockchain-based financial market infrastructures to trade with limited legal waivers.

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