The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has announced today on postponing its blockchain-based clearing system until April 2023. The new blockchain platform intends to replace its existing Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) platform that has been running for over 25 years.
ASX Launch Date Revised Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The initial launch was scheduled for 2021 and has now been moved to 2023. In February, the CEO of ASX, Dominic Stevens said that the new DLT-based system will be ready for wide-scale industry-based testing in July, while going fully live by April 2021.
However, a month later, amid the pandemic situation ASX announced revising its timetable. In June, the company revealed a launch date of April 2022. The firm announced today on revising its launch date again to April 2023.
The ASX said in a statement:
“While most CHESS users indicated they could meet the proposed go-live date of April 2022, many asked for extra industry testing, more time to prepare for the new system, and additional functionality that reduces manual processes (such as electronic corporate action elections) to be delivered as soon as possible.”
Higher Replacement System Needed For Scaling Solutions
ASX stated that the delay has been caused due to the increase in the trading volumes on its platform during the pandemic. The firm said that during March the trading platform saw an “unprecedented” burst of daily trade volumes, crossing previous records by approximately 3.5 million trades compared to its historical bursts of less than 0.5 million trades, adding:
“This increase has reset industry and regulator expectations about the possibility of further step increases in daily trading records. The need for the replacement system to scale to much higher processing levels and sooner is now a day one requirement”
Stevens further said that as a result of the delay, the CHESS platform would be a significantly enhanced” replacement solution.
“By its nature, a consultative process that considers all industry feedback will not satisfy everyone. We acknowledge those who have been working hard and would have preferred a faster delivery time.”