As Cointelegraph has previously reported, the ASX has been working to implement blockchain as of December 2017 to replace its current system for processing equity transactions.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the decision to delay the move comes as the exchange plans to devote more time to user development and testing. The launch date for the switchover has now been moved from the fourth quarter of 2020 to March-April 2021 — industry-wide testing plans and mandatory accreditation have both been deferred by the same time frame.
ASX first made its decision to replace the Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) on Australia's main stock exchange after two years of testing the possibilities of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), of which blockchain is a form.
The initial testing phase included two independent third party security reviews of systems developed by Digital Asset, a consulting company that helps financial institutions to adopt DLT solutions. Initially, the deadline for ASX’s rehaul of CHESS had been slated for March 2018.
Beyond ASX’s plans, major initiatives are underway in Australia to integrate blockchain across both the financial and government sectors. This July, IBM signed a five-year AU$1 billion ($740 million) deal with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation across federal departments, including defense and home affairs.