Australian securities register Computershare has announced a partnership with UK-based blockchain developer SETL. The announcement was made at today’s Computershare investor briefing. According to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald, the partnership will bring a blockchain-based securities register to Australia.
At the investor briefing, Computershare CEO Stuart Irving dismissed fears that blockchain technology will make firms like Computershare obsolete in the long run, calling the speculative assertions “ill-informed” statements that are being made by “competing vested interests”.
Instead, Irving said that Computershare is placed in a very lucrative position to take advantage of the new opportunities the technology will bring:
“Computershare is not an intermediary in the traditional sense. Computershare is an agent for a critical end-user segment of the market – an enviable position in a blockchain environment. We see real-life commercial opportunities given Computershare’s unique positioning.”
Thursday’s investor briefing also showcased a demonstration of the new register platform, which Computershare claims will unite various industry participants under one open standard. However, Computershare’s investor presentation stressed the fact that only a single entity could act as trusted “issuer agent” on the new blockchain-based register:
“Only one trusted party can logically act as the gateway [or node] for the issuer for the purposes of maintaining issued share capital, otherwise the system will lack the integrity it needs on a distributed basis.”
Additionally, Computershare sees a new securities trading model emerging as a result of distribute ledgers, where the functions of clearing and settlement are eliminated, and traders are directly connected to the securities register.
According to research by SETL, blockchain-based system may cut about $80 billion in post-trade fees from the securities trading industry.
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