The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced today that it intends to implement Blockchain technology to replace its current system for processing equity transactions. ASX -- in partnership with Digital Asset, who are providing the technology -- will be the world’s first securities exchange to adopt Blockchain technology in the operation of its core services.

The exchange is implementing Blockchain technology to replace its current clearing and settling system, CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregister System). The distributed nature of Blockchain is an upgrade, as it provides an opportunity to transact faster and more securely, reducing costs across the board.

The ASX came to this decision in partnership with Digital Asset, a consulting company that helps financial institutions adopt distributed ledger technology.

The Australian exchange has spent the past two years researching and testing distributed ledger technology, which included two independent third party security reviews of Digital Asset’s solutions. ASX expects to transition to the new system at the end of March 2018.

This move marks a significant moment for Blockchain tech adoption, putting Australia in the lead in the traditional financial sector’s race to understand, experiment with and implement distributed ledger technology.

Digital Asset CEO, Blythe Masters, stated that:

“Together, DA and our client ASX have shown that the technology not only works, but can meet the requirements of mission critical financial infrastructure.”

Australia’s main securities exchange now joins a relatively short list of global exchanges taking brave, concrete steps towards adoption of Blockchain technology, which includes Nasdaq, The London Stock Exchange, and the Japan Exchange Group.

Update: the ASX has been mistakenly called the Australian Stock Exchange in this story. The text of the article has been changed to correct that.