It seems former JP Morgan Executive Blythe Masters is taking the Australian stock markets by storm with blockchain technology. Bloomberg reports that Digital Asset Holdings, the distributed ledger startup created by Masters, has just raised $52 million USD from venture capitalists. The organization has also struck a deal with one of Australia’s leading stock operators.
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Digital Asset Holdings: Taking Australia by Storm
Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. employees Blythe Masters is headstrong about blockchain technology and has just contracted a deal to change the settlement process within the Australian stock exchange. Digital Asset Holdings struck a deal with ASX Ltd., one of Australia’s largest stock operators and will be working with this technology.
ASX was joined by JPMorgan, CME Group Inc. and ICAP Plc. in the funding round and the company is now valued at $100 million USD. Last year ASX said that it planned on substituting all of its core technology, and Digital Asset Holdings propelled past over 400 applicants who wanted the job to remake its clearing and settlement system. Elmer Funke Kupper, chief executive officer of ASX, told press:
“We can now trade equities in 150 microseconds, then it takes two days to settle. That makes no sense — A retail investor in Australia should be able to sell their shares, go to the nearest ATM and get their cash out.”
ASX was said to have been granted purchase warrants to increase equity within its Digital Asset Holdings stake and they can appoint one board member. A second warrant was issued to JPMorgan, if the bank works with Digital Asset Holdings on certain products in the future. Bloomberg reports a person familiar with the matter said JPMorgan invested $ 7.5 million USD, but the institution declined to comment on the exact number. However Mr. Viswanathan of JPMorgan said:
“We are proud to be a lead investor in this round of financing. Distributed Ledger Technology has the potential to transform the way our industry does business, and we believe Digital Asset has the right talent and technology to make it a reality.”
ASX and investors of Digital Asset Holdings will introduce distributed ledger technology to the 12th-biggest stock market worldwide. Funke Kupper says the road might not be easy explaining, “We will need the support from investors, our clients, regulators and the government,” he said. “We’re going to start a journey of discovery. We don’t know where it will end, but we know where it begins. It begins right here in Sydney.”
Masters believes the technology is going to change the financial landscape we see today and she sees this as one of the first established steps in doing so. Other investors involved with the Digital Asset Holdings funding round included Accenture, Banco Santander SA, PNC Financial Services, Citigroup Inc., and more. This also adds to the group of Digital Asset board members to a total of nine and added representatives. Masters says:
“It’s a unique cross-section of investors and customers who are investing a material amount of money in a technology that has the potential to transform their businesses, — It’s the first real, large-scale commercial project for any distributed ledger business. This is the first instance of something that’s much more than hype.”
Digital Asset Holdings will be playing ball in a field now with many other technological players. Other groups working with the technology such as R3, Microsoft Azure project, Nasdaq’s Linq and Overstock’s T0, charging for the blockchain spotlight. All of these groups would like to conquer the digital settlement process and bring trade to lightspeed. Masters knows quite a bit about these markets being in charge of derivatives, and the Currencies and Commodities sector for JPMorgan Chase Co. We shall see what this latest funding round of $52 million will do to this startup and what kind of institutions will prosper from its spawned technologies.
What do you think about Digital Asset Holding and ASX? Let us know in the comments below!
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