A cryptocurrency entrepreneur has joined the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) as the first chief digital officer, Reuters reports. Anthony Di Iorio, the founder of such blockchain companies as the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and Ethereum platform, took a job at the exchange in January.
The Toronto-based parent company of TSX, TMX Group Limited, now has offices in Canada, the US, Beijing, London, Sydney and Singapore. In 2015, the TSX was the globe’s ninth biggest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization.
The Canadian exchange is currently exploring the potential applications of blockchain, the technology underlying bitcoin. “Blockchain is a disruptive technology,” said Jean Desgagne, CEO of TMX’s Global Enterprise Services. “We’re focused on it, we’re going to learn.” He also pointed out that the blockchain could significantly improve operations at the exchange, decrease the cost and raise the speed of transactions.
Desgagne and Di Iorio did not provide any details on the future blockchain projects at the exchange.
Stock exchanges are staring to recognize the potential of blockchain, due to a wide range of benefits. The technology allows users of virtual currency to carry out safe transactions without the need for middlemen. Blockchain lets issuers of shares to avoid dealing with third parties, like clearing houses.
Last year, one of the biggest US stock markets, Nasdaq, used the technology to transfer securities for the first time. The exchange issued shares to the unknown private investor using its blockchain-based Linq system.
In 2015, Nasdaq, along with Capital One, Citi Ventures and Visa, also invested $30 million in blockchain developer platform, Chain.com, to investigate the use cases of the distributed ledger in the financial industry. Besides, Chain.com became the first user of Nasdaq’s Linq platform.
The other blockchain project, Nasdaq has been recently involved in, is a new e-voting service facilitated by Estonia’s e-Residency platform. The blockchain-based service was designed to allow firms listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange to vote in stockholder meetings.
Among the other stock exchanges that showed its interest in the technology underpinning the virtual currency is the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). In January, the ASX unveiled it is developing a private distributed ledger solution in partnership with the US blockchain company Digital Asset Holdings to replace the current platform for the clearing and settlement of equity trades. The new blockchain system is planned to be tested alongside the existing platform within a period of 6-12 months.