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ASX’s CHESS Replacement – The shift to DLT infrastructure is a positive step forward into the future

Automic Group Managing Director, Paul Williams, responds to the AFR Article “Alarm at ASX’s blockchain armageddon” criticising the ASX’s chess replacement technology.

Dear Tony,

I read your column in the AFR on Tuesday the 22nd of October with particular interest.

I am the managing director of Automic Group. We are Australia’s fastest growing share registry provider and we are quickly reshaping the registry industry through our unique technology driven capabilities.

We fundamentally disagree with the criticism of ASX’s CHESS replacement.

In our view, ASX’s CHESS replacement represents a significant opportunity for ASX listed entities, all participants in the market and the Australian economy in general. Globally, the world is watching the ASX and its roll out of DLT infrastructure. We view ASX’s investment in DLT technology as world leading which will deliver significant benefit to all participants. It is no surprise to us that the incumbent registry players seek to push back on ASX’s initiative, they operate on legacy systems and are striving to protect their existing market while avoiding investment into new technologies. The calls for intervention by Government to support incumbent participants seeking to stagnate technological innovation would, if acted on, cause enormous damage to the modernisation of our financial markets.

As an Australian FinTech company, we continue to devote resources to new and innovative technologies including DLT, building capability in DAML, other smart contracts frameworks and Artificial Intelligence. Automic Group’s registry platform is built leveraging modern technologies and design principles, in terms of security, infrastructure and automation. Our applications run on Amazon Web Services, with all data redundant and secured in Australia. Our platform allows clients 24/7 secure real-time access to their data and an ability to self-service the functions that current registry custodians charge for as a manual process.

ASX participants deserve to be able to quickly and easily access data, with the ability to enrich, analyse, translate and visualise it. The ASX plan to transition off the 25 year old CHESS system is overdue, the shift to DLT infrastructure is a positive step forward into the future.

Regards, Paul Williams