DTCC Further Experiments with Blockchain in Asset Tokenization

The DTCC has been experimenting with scaling blockchain to its core business for three years.

Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the major equity clearing and settlement services provider, has launched two projects to provide a new framework for asset digitalization and tokenization. Dubbed ‘Ion’ and ‘Whitney’, the new initiatives aim to improve post-trade settlement in the public and private markets.

For traditional market makers who rely on its core clearing and settlement processes, DTCC’s Ion is a proof-of-concept project that could help bring a stronger understanding of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the application of asset digitalisation.

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DTCC hopes global post-trading standards for crypto assets will ensure stable transaction settlement. The company, which processes $1.7 quadrillion worth of securities transactions annually, said it’s currently engaging with the industry to assess market demand.

“Project Ion is about working with the industry to further the value proposition on accelerated settlement leveraging new capabilities such as DLT and tokenized securities, and to learn how DTCC can best deploy these technologies to deliver additional value to clients and the industry,” sais Murray Pozmanter, head of clearing agency services and global operations and client services at DTCC.

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As for its Project Whitney, DTCC expects it to cater to private markets that have been ripe for increased levels of automation and lack much of the infrastructure that has supported the public markets for decades.

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“Project Whitney presents an exciting opportunity to leverage emerging technologies and develop completely new solutions from the ground up,” said Jennifer Peve, managing director, business innovation at DTCC.

The member-owned market utility has been experimenting with blockchain for three years, focused on creating more efficient capital markets. In 2017, it unveiled a project in partnership with Axoni, IBM and R3 to introduce the proof of concept for settling credit derivatives.

DTCC operates trade repositories across the globe. In the US, it supports trade reporting to the CFTC through its US swap data repository (SDR). DTCC also operates a trade repository approved by the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA). DTCC’s centralized platform provides its clients with the ability to report trades only once and seamlessly meet regulatory requirements to multiple jurisdictions.

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