Blythe Masters’ Digital Asset Closes Funding Round Exceeding $50 Million From Thirteen Global Financial Leaders

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Digital Asset Holdings today announced that it has been selected by ASX Limited (ASX) to develop solutions for the Australian market utilizing Distributed Ledger Technology. The initial focus will be on post-trade (clearing and settlement) services in the cash equities market. ASX has also joined 12 other global financial services leaders and made a minority investment in Digital Asset.

“Digital Asset is delighted to be selected to design the world’s first national scale post-trade solution utilizing Distributed Ledger Technology,” said Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset. “The Australian equities market could benefit tremendously from this new technology and enable ASX to better serve existing clients and create new opportunities.”

“Distributed Ledger Technology could provide a once in a generation opportunity to reduce cost, time and complexity in the post-trade environment of Australia’s equity market,” said Elmer Funke Kupper, Managing Director and CEO of ASX. “Moreover, it could stimulate greater innovation by ASX and other providers of services to issuers, investors and intermediaries. ASX and Digital Asset will work together to design a solution and share the potential benefits with clients and regulators.”

In February 2015, ASX announced that it would replace or upgrade all of its main trading and post-trade platforms. Phase 1 of the program runs to the end of 2016 and will replace ASX’s existing trading and risk management systems.

Phase 2 focuses on ASX’s post-trade services, including clearing and settlement of the cash equities market. The system that currently provides the clearing and settlement services to the Australian equity market is known as CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Sub-register System).

ASX has recognized the potential that Distributed Ledger Technology could provide and after a rigorous evaluation process selected Digital Asset as the business partner for the development of a solution for the Australian market.

The initial 6 to 12 months will be used to develop a solution that demonstrates the benefits that Distributed Ledger Technology brings to a broad range of users – including investors, listed companies and intermediaries.

ASX and Digital Asset will engage with Australia’s financial market regulators and Government agencies to assess the benefits that a new solution could deliver to them, and the implications for the regulatory framework that underpins the strong reputation ofAustralia’s financial markets.

Digital Asset’s post-trade solutions will meet the high regulatory, operational and security standards that apply to Australia’s financial markets. Digital Asset software is designed to materially improve post-trade processing efficiency, reducing costs, latency, errors, risk and capital requirements. Any future solution for ASX will be based on a cryptographically secure private network, whereby all parties that participate will be permissioned to do so – as they are today when they connect to CHESS for clearing and settlement of cash equities.

Distributed Ledger Technology provides the opportunity to radically simplify and speed-up post-trade processing. For ASX clients it could remove risk and reduce back-office administration and compliance costs, while investors could experience significantly faster settlement of equity transactions – potentially in near real-time.

The design should allow for greater innovation by ASX and third parties to build new services for intermediaries, end-investors and listed companies. This would create a more competitive marketplace across a broad range of services.

 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) – Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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