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LSEG to Launch Traditional Assets Trading Platform on Blockchain

kokou adzo

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The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has decided to tap into the potential of distributed ledger technology, claiming that this will make it the first major exchange to offer extensive trading of traditional financial instruments on the blockchain technology best known for powering crypto.

The mainstream media outlet Financial Times report states that the company has been looking into the potential of blockchain-based trading venues for a year. Blockchain technology is primarily linked with cryptocurrencies, but its applications are limitless. According to an executive, the LSE Group has been exploring how blockchain can improve traditional asset trading.

Overview

LSE Group’s Head of Capital Markets, Murray Roos, mentioned that the company’s efforts in looking into the blockchain had reached an inflexion point where they decided to move their plans forward. Roos clarified that the exchange was not building anything around crypto assets but was looking to use the technology that underpins popular tokens such as Bitcoin (BTC) to improve the efficiency of selling, buying and holding traditional assets. Roos said, “The idea to use digital technology to make a process that is slicker, smoother, cheaper and more transparent … and to have it regulated”. He added, “LSEG had waited to proceed until it was sure that the public blockchain technology was good enough and that investors were ready”.

Earlier this year, BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink emphasised that the next generation for markets lay in the tokenisation of assets. A few months ago, BlackRock applied to create its own ETF tracking BTC spot prices, triggering a wave of subsequent applications and optimism in the charts of digital assets. Roos claimed that if the plan comes to fruition, the LSEG would be the first major global stock exchange to offer investors an end-to-end blockchain-powered ecosystem. Several blockchain-powered projects have covered only part of the lifecycle of financial assets rather than everything from issuance to trading, reconciliation and settlement.

LSE Group’s head added that the digital markets venture would be a competitor to LSE’s traditional business, and its development was not an attempt to shore up its equities markets business, which suffered in recent years as initial public offerings dried up. Roos said, “We’re very committed to the London equity markets. We are seeking to continue to do what London has always done and continue to innovate.”

How Blockchain Could Streamline Exchange Operations

According to the report, LSEG is considering using a separate legal entity for the digital markets business, hoping to have the first market up and running within the next year, subject to regulatory approval. Talks between regulators in multiple jurisdictions, as well as the government and Treasury in the UK, are already underway. Roos noted, “The ultimate goal is a global platform that allows participants in all jurisdictions to be able to interact with people in other jurisdictions completely abiding by rules, laws and regulations, potentially multiple jurisdictions simultaneously, which is something that hasn’t been possible in an analogue world”.

Roos cited an example involving a Swiss buyer, a Japanese asset and an American seller. In the traditional market, a transaction between these parties would be complicated but could be easily accomplished digitally if LSE can get buy-in from multiple regulators. Initially, the digital business would likely focus on private markets, increasing access to the available products and instruments. Once LSEG has proven the model successful, the service will be expanded to other assets. Roos said, “The technical opportunity of digitising a bunch of traded asset classes is extremely high”.

Integration Into Blockchain

For LSEG, this is not their first venture into blockchain and tokenisation. Other traditional financial infrastructures have started warming up to integrating blockchain technology into their business. On August 31st 2023, SWIFT, a bank messaging network, shared a report on how it connects with blockchains to solve the interoperability problem between various blockchain networks.

In 2019, an airline carrier, Lufthansa Airlines, integrated blockchain-based technologies by launching a nonfungible token (NFT) loyalty program on the Polygon network and offering NFT holders the chance to gain rewards like lounge access and flight upgrades. Then, two years earlier, experts from Bitcoin Apex announced that the company would use blockchain technology to digitise the distribution of securities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. So far, data from the European securities regulator Esma showed assets worth $800 million of traditional assets had been tokenised in the European market.

The launch of LSEG products would undoubtedly boost its Value. Some traditional industry representatives believe tokenisation is the future of financial markets, and the next revolution awaits them. Even though the United States regulator (SEC) is blocking the acceptance and delaying the final decision, the industry is convinced that crypto ETFs in the US will be released. It is just a matter of time.

What It Means for the Future of Finance

The London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) decision to launch a traditional assets trading platform on blockchain is a watershed moment for the financial industry. It is the first major exchange to do so, and its move could pave the way for widespread adoption of blockchain technology in traditional finance.

How Blockchain Could Streamline Exchange Operations

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way exchanges operate. It can make trading more efficient, transparent, and secure.

For example, blockchain can be used to automate many of the back-office tasks involved in trading, such as clearing and settlement. This can reduce costs and speed up the交易 process.

Blockchain can also be used to improve transparency in trading. By recording all transactions on a public ledger, blockchain can make it easier to track and monitor trading activity. This can help to reduce fraud and other forms of market abuse.

Integration Into Blockchain

LSEG is not the only traditional financial institution that is exploring blockchain technology. Other major exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, are also developing blockchain-based trading platforms.

In addition, a number of startups are developing blockchain-based infrastructure for the financial industry. For example, Symbiont is developing a blockchain-based platform for trading securities.

What It Means for the Future of Finance

The LSEG’s move to launch a traditional assets trading platform on blockchain is a sign that the financial industry is ready to embrace blockchain technology.

As more exchanges and financial institutions adopt blockchain, it is likely to have a significant impact on the way the financial industry operates. Blockchain could make trading more efficient, transparent, and secure. It could also open up new markets and opportunities for investors.

Here are some of the specific ways that blockchain could transform the future of finance:

Increased efficiency: Blockchain can automate many of the back-office tasks involved in trading, such as clearing and settlement. This can reduce costs and speed up the trading process.

Improved transparency: Blockchain can make it easier to track and monitor trading activity, as all transactions are recorded on a public ledger. This can help to reduce fraud and other forms of market abuse.

Reduced costs: Blockchain can reduce the costs associated with trading, such as transaction fees and settlement costs.

Increased access to markets: Blockchain can make it easier for investors to access new markets and investment opportunities.

New financial products and services: Blockchain could enable the development of new financial products and services, such as decentralized exchanges and tokenized assets.

Overall, the LSEG’s move to launch a traditional assets trading platform on blockchain is a significant development for the financial industry. It is a sign that blockchain technology is ready for mainstream adoption.

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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