The Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) is moving forward with a plan to use blockchain to instantly settle and clear transactions.

Speaking at the SINET 61 conference in Sydney today, SSX director of market development Loretta Joseph said the goal of the project, announced in May and scheduled to be completed in 2018, remains to avoid high fees charged by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as well as modernize its technology.

According to ZDNet, the move is one that finds SSX, established in 1997 as the Asia Pacific Stock Exchange, seeking to compete against its more tenured rival, ASX.

Joseph told the news source:

“This provides the ideal opportunity for my little exchange to develop its own clearing settlement registration function. It means that I take control of my own destiny rather than relying on my own competitor.”

By immediately settling transactions, Joseph said she believes SSX can reduce its risk, while helping Australia emerge as a leader in harnessing blockchain technology.

Still, Joseph, who also chairs the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA), said there are regulatory reforms that are needed before the exchange could implement such a system. Currently, all four licensed clearing and settlement facilities in the country are owned by ASX, according to the Bank of International Settlements.

“It is our hope that we can lead to set policy recommendations that the government can adopt in order to facilitate blockchain-based innovations,” Joseph said.

For the initiative, SSX will work with Bit Trade Labs, an Australia-based blockchain “production studio” boasting members of the ADCCA, as well as blockchain voting startup Flux.

Image credit: Szilard Szasz Toth / Shutterstock.com

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