The blockchain stock market has arrived in the US. Paxos today announced it launched its blockchain-based securities settlement service with major financial services providers Credit Suisse and Instinet as the first early adopters.
The Paxos Settlement Service bills itself as “the first live application of blockchain technology for listed US equities.” The permissioned blockchain was built to help parties settle securities trades faster and cheaper compared to the traditional post-trade infrastructure.
When did you first hear of #bitcoin or #blockchain? Paxos received the first-ever trust charter to operate a Bitcoin exchange @itBit in 2015 from NYDFS. Learn more about the old days from @nytimes on America’s first regulated digital asset company. https://t.co/HQxZN9Cw0R
— Paxos (@PaxosGlobal) February 18, 2020
“While there has been a lot of innovation in the front office and trading occurs in milliseconds, there has been very little innovation in the back office,” Melayna Ingram, Director of Securities Product at Paxos told Decrypt. Paxos believes their service “can transform post-trade infrastructure” through “simultaneous delivery vs. payment (DVP).”
That means its service will be able to speed up settlement times by making payments immediately available with a trade.
Paxos received the blessing of US regulators last November when the SEC awarded the company with a no-action letter. As a result, Ingram explained that the no-action relief “places limitations on the volume and stocks” that the company can settle. However, Paxos plans to submit an application for a clearing agency registration later this year which would allow it to expand its service “to all street side broker-dealers to settle U.S. listed equities.”
Emannuel Aido, Head of Digital Asset Markets at Credit Suisse, said in a statement the new regulation compliant service allows his firm to “take important strides towards evolving market structure and unlocking capital that is tied up in legacy settlement processes.”
“Going live with Paxos Settlement Service will bring about significant digital transformation to this part of the trading process and help to optimize securities settlement,” said Luke Mauro, Global Head of Operations at Instinet.
French lender Societe General is also slated to participate with the service later this year, according to today’s announcement from Paxos.
Blockchain technology promises to shorten settlement times for securities, which take more than two days to finalize, and reduce post-trade spending that costs the industry between $17 billion to $24 billion, according to estimates from financial services consulting firm Broadridge.