In what is quickly becoming a recurring theme among stock exchanges around the world, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is exploring blockchain technology applications for securities trading and clearing. The foray into understanding blockchain or distributed ledgers, the technology that powers the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is further helped by the TSX’s recent appointment of crypto entrepreneur and bitcoin evangelist Anthony Di Iorio.
Following recent examples of stock exchanges in Australia, the UK, the United States and Japan that have been embracing blockchain technology, Canada’s largest stock exchange is now joining the blockchain bandwagon.
As reported by Reuters, Jean Desgagne, CEO of global enterprise services at TMX, the TSX’s parent group also revealed that the stock exchange recently created the new position of a ‘chief digital officer.’ The move is to explore new innovative technology and solutions such as distributed ledger technology as a means to increase efficiency, reduce costs by negating the need for clearing houses and quickening transactions.
Speaking to the publication, Desgagne said:
Blockchain is a disruptive technology. We’re focused on it, we’re going to learn.
He further added that major changes could be afoot as a result of the adoption of blockchain technology by the Toronto Stock Exchange. Furthermore, he opined that adoption could make the exchange’s operations “better, faster  cheaper.”
Embracing Crypto, Blockchain Tech
Canada’s largest stock exchange sees its first ever chief digital officer’s post filled by Ethereum co-founder and bitcoin entrepreneur Anthony Di Iorio. The entrepreneur also helped develop Rushwallet, Krypokit, Decentral and other innovations besides Ethereum, besides being an early investor in bitcoin.
Di Iorio is also the founder of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.
The potential that blockchain technology holds is being actively explored by some of the world’s largest stock exchanges in several continents. The concentrated and even hurried effort could help reduce costs significantly while ramping up on operational efficiency of post-trade solutions.
The most prominent example of a large stock exchange signing up for blockchain tech is that of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The ASX was one of several major investors in blockchain startup Digital Asset earlier this year, a firm that is helping the stock exchange operator to develop custom blockchain-based solutions for the clearing and settlement of trades. The blockchain-based system will run alongside the ASX’s existing clearing system before it replaces the latter completely, if successful during the trial.
More recently, Asia’s largest stock exchange – the Tokyo Stock Exchange also revealed that it will experiment blockchain technology for post-trade solutions this year. The stock exchange operator is working with IBM Japan for the significant project.
A group of financial institutions led by the London Stock Exchange are also looking into blockchain applications for securities trade settlement, it was revealed in November 2015.
In October 2015, Nasdaq revealed Linq, a blockchain-powered trading platform that enables private companies to trade their shares among each other, even if they aren’t publicly listed companies.
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