The new division will be headed up by Jens Hachmeister who has been leading the market organiser’s blockchain initiatives since April of this year. According to a statement issued by Deutsche Börse, Hachmeister will be leading a team of 24 people.
The company has been actively exploring the capabilities of blockchain for some time now. Aside from cryptocurrency, the firm has also been looking at how blockchain could be used for smart contracts, securities settlements and, more vaguely, “co-operation with international securities depositories.”
Despite this, blockchain developments at Deutsche Börse have, until now, been scattered. In a statement this Tuesday, Hachmeister said that “explorative steps have not been coordinated on a Group-wide level. In order to use the full potential of the technology for our businesses…a centrally steered approach is necessary to make a greater impact.”
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Deutsche Börse – blockchain adopter
That “impact” could be felt across the whole range of Deutsche Börse’s business lines. The company claims that blockchain technology may eventually be used in its trading, clearing, pre-IPO, settlement and data analytics services.
“Of course, the expectations are high and not all of them will be fulfilled,” said Hachmeister. He noted: “From Deutsche Börse’s point of view, blockchain technology is a key opportunity for the creation of new market structures, adding new products onto our present structures and enhancing our existing offerings.”
One avenue that Deutsche Börse looks certain to pursue is securities lending. As reported by Finance Magnates, the market organiser became a majority shareholder in HQLAx just last week.
Founded in 2016, the start-up firm hopes to use blockchain technology to create a securities lending marketplace. The firm claims that its technology will improve operational efficiency and bolster liquidity for securities lending.