Australia's Securities Exchange Puts off Migration to Blockchain due to Coronavirus
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25 March
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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has said through an official press release it has decided to postpone its migration to blockchain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASX has been working since December 2017 on its blockchain system, which will replace the current Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS). The full migration to this new blockchain-based system was originally scheduled for April 2021. ASX has said:

"In recent days, ASX has received further feedback about the ability of users to focus on the CHESS replacement project during this period of heightened volatility and activity levels. With many firms in the industry, including ASX, operating with a large proportion of staff working from home, the ability to participate in coordinated readiness activities later this year is unclear."

Even though the full release of the system has now been put off, the launch of the Industry Test Environment (ITE) for developers is still expected to happen on July 2020. The ASX has said:

"ASX remains fully committed to CHESS replacement. We continue to progress the project, including system development and testing, supporting back office software developers [....] the investments we are making in the new system and in distributed ledger technology are for the long-term benefit of the financial services industry and the Australian economy."

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