ASX to Replace Its CHESS System with Blockchain as Chi-X Asks ACCC to Investigate Its Competitors


Chi-X Australia has called the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate a case against the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). According to the company, its competitor’s use of blockchain technology could present an “unfair advantage” in the market.

All of this stems from a recent decision made by the ASX to ditch its old clearinghouse system and use a new blockchain registry, which will be the standard technology for clearing and settlement now.

The general counsel of Chi-X, Michael Somes, affirmed that the blockchain will make some current problems get even worse in the future. According to him, there is a substantial gap between the current system of the ASX and its competitors. With the blockchain, the problem will only get worse because the gap will get wider.

He said,

“There’s a substantial moat around the ASX clearing and settlement business… And the CHESS replacement project is perhaps making it bigger. […] It would be very difficult for the competition to bridge that moat – I’m not saying it won’t happen… but it needs to be regulated as if it won’t.”

While it may seem that the complaint is hollow, there are grounds for the appeal, according to the Australian legislative framework. Chi-X Australia is ASX’s sole competitor and also its only client for clearing services. This could, in theory, give one of the exchanges an unfair advantage that could only grow over time.

Blockchain And Stock Markets

The ASX is far from the only company using the blockchain to upgrade the efficiency of its products. In fact, many stock market operators are doing it all over the world. The London Stock Exchange and the Shangai Stock Exchange are examples. They are among the most powerful companies to exist in this niche and have discovered that the blockchain can bring many benefits.

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