Judith Fox: “ASX transition to blockchain system will cost millions of dollars”

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The CEO of the Association of Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers of Australia said the group’s spending is on the rise as the Australian Stock Exchange moves to a blockchain-based system.

Judith Fox, head of Australia’s professional organization of stockbrokers and investment advisers, said it would cost members millions of dollars to upgrade the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) clearing and settlement system and move to blockchain. Fox expressed her opinion during a speech before the Australian Senate Economic Law Committee.

“Many of the Australian Stockbrokers and Financial Advisors Association members are spending millions of dollars to be able to interact with the new distributed ledger technology that ASX is adopting,” she said.

Back in late 2017, ASX announced that the blockchain would replace its current Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS). In August 2019, the exchange confirmed the active development of the platform on the blockchain, and last summer, market participants demanded that ASX postpone the launch of the system for two years, since the new project “lacks clarity.” As a result, ASX postponed the transition to blockchain until 2023.

Fox argues that the costs are borne by all industry participants who are in any way associated with ASX and “other global exchanges.”

“The investment required to operate in global markets continues to grow,” Fox said.

An ASX spokesman attending the Committee meeting said that the upgrade would entail certain costs and that those costs would be determined by the site’s customers.

“Customers are free to choose how to interact with the new CHESS system,” said an ASX spokesman.

A new clearing and settlement system on the blockchain of the Australian Stock Exchange is currently undergoing testing – its official launch is scheduled for 2022-2023.

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