Banking Investment News

VMware joins Digital Asset to develop blockchain for ASX

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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Monday announced its collaboration with Digital Asset (DA) and US-based VMware to work on blockchain initiatives in Australia and New Zealand.

ASX is already working with DA to develop a distributed ledger technology-based application to replace CHESS (the exchange’s equities clearing and settlement system). With this new partnership, the ASX aims to create new services and apply blockchain in other financial services it offers.

“This new partnership… will help us support a wider range of DLT solutions developed by the industry. It confirms our belief in the potential of DLT as we remain on track to deliver the CHESS replacement system in March-April 2021,” said Peter Hiom, ASX Deputy CEO. However, he emphasized that the current focus is the CHESS replacement.

ASX said that the new system to replace CHESS is being rolled out in phases within its Customer Development Environment. VMware will now be working with DA and ASX to develop applications using the Digital Asset Modelling Language (DAML), a programming language used to build distributed applications.

In 2016, the ASX started working with Digital Asset (DA) on a DLT replacement of its settlement system CHESS. There are two key facets of DA’s technology: the distributed ledger and its smart contracting language DAML, which is particularly suited to the workflow.

Back in April this year, DA open-sourced DAML. The following week DA unveiled a collaboration with VMware to integrate DAML with VMware’s Blockchain platform.

What’s unusual about the Digital Asset blockchain used by the CHESS replacement is that it is centralized. Only the ASX writes to the ledger. While DA’s blockchain is capable of being used in a non-centralized manner, DAML is DA’s technology strength. Hence, in addition to the VMWare blockchain integration, DAML is now integrated with numerous other blockchains.

Yuval Rooz, co-founder and CEO of Digital Asset, said, “VMware is now part of the mission we share with ASX to deliver a DAML-based distributed infrastructure to realize the full potential of this technology.”


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