September 04, 2018 07:55:13
Frankfurt-based stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse has set up a unit focused on blockchain, crypto assets, and new market securities. The new division, which comprises 24 employees, will work to explore and implement the distributed ledger technology (DLT) for various use cases.
“From Deutsche Börse’s point of view, the DLT/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,” Jens Hachmeister, head of the new division, explained. “Its potential cuts across our entire value chain – pre-IPO/listing, trading and clearing, settlement and custody, and even the data and analytics business.”
Hachmeister referred to the company’s several trials, and collaborations focused on blockchain. Earlier, Deutsche Boerse worked with Deutsche Bundesbank to develop a DLT prototype for the settlement of securities. Recently, the company acquired a minority stake in blockchain-oriented firm HQLAx, and will use its technology for securities lending.
However, as Hachmeister put it, these explorative efforts haven’t been managed on a group-wide level, so it was necessary to set up a unit that would use the full potential of blockchain.
The new chief noted that the technology would not be the answer to all questions, although the digital economy is moving towards decentralization. He anticipates more peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces and fewer middlemen.
“Looking at the pace of technological progress and the transformational potential that lies in Blockchain, we probably stand at the beginning of a new era that could be disruptive for the whole industry,” Hachmeister said, highlighting that there are both challenges and opportunities ahead.
Deutsche Boerse’s move is part of a broader strategy called Roadmap 2020, which relies on three key pillars. One of the pillars refers to four emerging technologies, including blockchain, cloud, big data & analytics, and robotics & artificial intelligence (AI).