ASX rebuffs its blockchain critics

ASX rebuffs its blockchain critics

ASX chief executive Dominic Stevens has responded to market speculation its CHESS replacement project may result in higher clearing and settlement fees and expand the ASX’s power over market data, telling stockbrokers it doesn’t want to compete with them but rather help create new revenue opportunities.

Concerns of various brokers, registries and alternative exchanges were set down in a recent unpublished report by Deloitte. These included concerns that ASX is forcing them to invest to adopt unproven technology and its consultation process lacked transparency, But Mr Stevens said it is important to understand “what CHESS replacement, is and what it’s not”.

No broker will be forced to use the new blockchain services being developed, he said, because the new settlement and clearing system will continue to offer a traditional connection based on messaging, albeit with new global standards. It will have all the current functionality of CHESS, plus 35 new features as requested by the market.

Amid rumours the project will consolidate additional data with ASX, Mr Stevens said it “will not be changing operating rules to require parties to provide new information to the settlement system” and said the philosophy of ASX is to create “contemporary open infrastructure”.

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