CSE aims to be Canada’s first blockchain platform for trade clearing and settlement

Financial Post | Barbara Shector | Feb 13, 2018

Richard Carleton CSE - CSE aims to be Canada’s first blockchain platform for trade clearing and settlement

Canada’s upstart exchange is applying to use the technology to provide real-time clearing and settlement of securities

The Canadian Securities Exchange, Canada’s upstart stock-trading platform, is aiming to create competition in securities clearing and settlement using blockchain technology.

The CSE plans to apply to regulators for recognition of the new clearinghouse, which aims to provide real-time clearing and settlement that would cut costs and reduce errors when compared to conventional clearing services.

The platform, using technology licensed from New York-based Fundamental Interactions Inc., would use tokenized securities called Securities Token Offerings (STOs) for both equity and debt issues, the CSE said in a release Tuesday.

“The Canadian Securities Exchange expects to be the first recognized exchange in Canada to introduce a fully developed blockchain platform for trading, clearing and settling tokenized securities,” said Richard Carleton, chief executive of the CSE.

“Our platform represents an intersection between blockchain and the capital markets that delivers on blockchain’s promise to disrupt conventional transaction and record-keeping mechanisms, thereby providing tangible benefits for market stakeholders.”

Proponents of the distributed ledger technology behind blockchain have pinpointed clearing and settlement of stocks and other securities as an area ripe for innovation because it is still heavily dependent on paperwork and transactions that can take days to settle.

But while the centralized database of records at the heart of clearing and settlement makes it vulnerable to blockchain’s key strength, some market watchers suggest investors would balk if clearing and settlement took place outside the confines of trusted intermediaries such as banks.

See:  France to allow blockchain for trading unlisted securities

Clearing and settlement of equity, debt, and money market transactions in Canada are handled by CDS Clearing and Depository Services Inc., which is owned by the TMX Group. TMX also owns the Toronto Stock Exchange, CSE’s principal and much larger competitor.

CDS’s clearing and settlement operations are tightly regulated by the Bank of Canada, as well as by securities regulators across the country.

The CSE says its proposed platform would provide “substantial” cost savings over existing options, in part by eliminating the need for investment dealers to post initial and market-to-market capital with a clearing house pending the settlement of trades.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize 1 - CSE aims to be Canada’s first blockchain platform for trade clearing and settlementThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a national non-profit actively engaged with social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P), initial coin offerings (ICO), and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, networking opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, academia and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and online financing industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org