The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is unlikely to directly list a cryptocurrency on its exchange, but could consider an “appropriately backed” real-world asset such as gold.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Dan Chesterman, ASX CIO and Group Head of Technology and Data, said that while there are hurdles to listing a cryptocurrency directly, the company may consider list tokenized real-world assets.
"There have been, in the past, challenges associated with the step where we could directly list a cryptocurrency, mainly because it doesn't meet a lot of listing rules," Chesterman said.
“Could I imagine us potentially, in the end, having a tokenized product listed on us? Absolutely."
The ASX is the world's 16th-largest exchange by market capitalization, according to a March 28 Yahoo Finance report. In the first quarter of 2023, the ASX accounted for almost 82% of the total dollar turnover of local stock market products, according to data from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
Chesterman's approach to blockchain aligns with earlier comments from top banking executives who have suggested that the narrative around blockchain has become a "driver of efficiency."
"Blockchain experimentation is not going away at large banks and large institutions," said Howard Silby, Chief Innovation Officer at National Australia Bank (NAB).
"There are many high-friction, high-value customer processes that remain a very ripe area for innovation."
Meanwhile, Sophie Gilder, Managing Director of Blockchain and Digital Assets at Commonwealth Bank, believes tokenization of assets and smart payments could generate significant efficiencies while reducing risk and costs.
“In today's market, it's harder to talk about the advantage of digital assets. Instead, I think it's more about efficiency, and there's a lot to be gained there,” Gilder said.
"So we've gone from being irrationally exuberant, which actually wasn't ideal for the market other than, maybe, attracting capital, to now focusing on what the extra utility is."
Over the past year, ASX has come under fire for its decision to put on hold the blockchain-based upgrade of its nearly 30-year-old clearing and settlement system, which has already cost up to $166 million. dollars (255 million Australian dollars).
Related: Blame game rages over failed ASX CHESS system blockchain upgrade
Chesterman, however, reiterated that the decision was not a "rejection" of blockchain technology.
“Our decision to pause was based on our assessment that we were seeing delays happening and recurring and we did not want to go through a process where there was a prolonged and ongoing delay, and that would impact our customers” , he said.
“We made a very deliberate decision [...] take a break so as not to create a permanent state of uncertainty.
Chesterman said the exchange continues to work with infrastructure company Digital Assets for its Synfini blockchain development platform.
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