Current EU regulations for time stamping of stock trades require that all trading venues and market participants coordinate their clocks to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) and that transactions be stamped in milliseconds.

However, regulations set to come into effect as of Jan. 3, 2018 require timestamps to be more accurate, traceable and transparent for greater consumer protection.

This regulation has been met with some concern over what technology can implement the requirements.

However, the National Physical Laboratory, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TMX), and UK-based consultancy Z/Yen have come together to bring atomic clock timestamp precision to trades over a Blockchain database.

The database, called ‘Atomic Ledger’ timestamps trades within nanoseconds and is completely transparent. It also records time on the atomic clock, providing highly accurate time stamping.

The group tested the new technology on the Toronto exchange with great success. Having recorded and stamped 20 mln transactions, the results will be analyzed this week.

Professor Michael Mainelli, executive chairman, Z/Yen Group, says:

"We have been working with distributed ledger technology since 1995 and are delighted that our ChainZy architecture has been able to support these high-speed applications, with a capacity for some 25 bln transactions per day on this test rig, a trillion transactions per day is in sight commercially. Using NPL's atomic clocks is a major step forward in adding authority to distributed ledgers for time-stamping."