Capital markets News

Greek stock exchange ATHEX exploring public blockchain for book building

athex blockchain mysten labs

Yesterday, the main Greek stock exchange group ATHEX announced a project to explore using the Sui public blockchain for ATHEX Group’s Electronic Book Building solution (EBB). 

The contract is with Mysten Labs, the founder of Sui. In 2022 Mysten received a $300 million funding round, with backers including Franklin Templeton and Apollo. Mysten’s founders worked on Facebook’s Novi team for the Diem project and developed the Move smart contract language used by Diem.

Book building usually involves gathering offers from potential investors in IPOs for price discovery. In this case, banks and brokerage firms gather prices from the clients and funnel the data through EBB. ATHEX launched its EBB solution five years ago. It has used it for €10 billion in issuances, ranging from IPOs to secondary offerings and corporate bond issuances.

“Collaborating with a globally recognized financial institution like ATHEX is a momentous step forward not just for the Sui blockchain but also for web3 itself,” said Evan Cheng, Co-Founder and CEO of Mysten Labs. “Financial tools have long been touted as a use case for blockchain technology, but we have yet to see real world adoption.”

While it sounds like a neat project, it’s unclear why EBB needs blockchain. Is it to enhance transparency, immutability, or something else? Perhaps it’s with an eye on the future, where investors have more direct access to securities. If book building happens on-chain, a smart contract establishes the final price and executes the offers as transactions. We contacted Mysten Labs to confirm but didn’t get a response in time for publication.

ATHEX will be assisted on the ground as Mysten Labs’ only physical office happens to be in Athens. Most of its team works remotely.

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