ASX bets blockchain hype will subside in a few years

Just give it another two to seven years, ASX deputy CEO Peter Hiom reckons.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Australian Securities Exchange's (ASX) decision to build a new post-trade solution using blockchain technology may have many intrigued, but according to ASX deputy CEO Peter Hiom, in a few years' time all the chatter about blockchain will be business as usual.

Speaking on a panel to media this week at vForum in Sydney, Hiom believes that blockchain is relevant to any industry where data sharing across multiple parties is concerned.

"Because of the secret source of distributed ledgers, the key to that is you can independently verify yourself … without having to go back to ASX to prove it, you don't have to message backwards and forwards. So, I know what I've got is true, and everybody else who has got a node also has the correct information," he said.

"Once I've got that capability, which means I can disseminate data and synchronise it among the parties, that's pretty much inter-company straight through processing that you can start to go after … so tell me an industry that isn't ... a potential use case, whether that's insurance, whether it's the legal profession, whether it's trade, finance, logistics, import, export. 

"There's all sorts of ways in which that safe-sharing of data where you're not trying to solve a problem of trust, you're trying to solve the problem data synchronisation."

SEE: How blockchain will disrupt business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)    

Hiom predicts within the next two to seven years everyone will be using it.

"We believe we'll stop talking about this technology in a few years; it'll just be how data gets shared. But right now, it's really interesting," he said.

Hiom continued saying when it comes to blockchain at the moment, businesses are still trying to figure out how to best approach it. 

"I personally think this technology is still in its early stages and this will take time to be deployed and everyone will have their own entry point," he said.

"Ours just happens to be clearance and settlement. For somebody else, it'll be a different system change out or process efficiency as their entry point.

"It will take a while, but you will start seeing enterprise deployment of blockchain, perhaps sooner than some people think, but there's no doubt this is going to take time. We do believe it will be something we'll stop talking about. In 15 years' time we'll be wondering about how we use to do things."

The ASX announced in June 2016 that it was replacing its legacy Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) platform, which has been running for around 25 years, with blockchain technology. The ASX has been working on the CHESS replacement project since 2015.

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