Amidst the frenzy surrounding the rapid appreciation of cryptocurrency values it is easy to forget that the technology underlying crypto—blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) —may ultimately be the real story. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced in early December it will be replacing its legacy clearing, settlement and asset registration system known as CHESS with a permissioned distributed ledger. This decision follows two and a half years' worth of testing and development work with digital asset and stakeholder consultations. Consultations will continue during 2018 on finalizing day 1 functionality, and a final decision on that scope and the implementation timeline is expected to be announced in June 2018.

The ASX is the first non-crypto exchange to commit to using DLT although other exchanges around the world are engaged in their own studies and experimentation. Unlike public blockchains, the ASX system will only be available to ASX clients and rights of reversal and error correction will be built into the system.

For more information, visit the ASX website.