最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
专栏传统金融的互联网化区块链国际资讯

全球多家证交所纷纷试水区块链

专栏传统金融的互联网化区块链国际资讯

全球多家证交所纷纷试水区块链

区块链技术是比特币和其他加密货币的基础,目标是去中心化,规避中央监管。但是许多人对更新后台流程等实际用途更感兴趣,金融交易所对此尤为感兴趣。

股票交易通常通过算法以毫秒为单位进行,但完成这个过程涉及协调各种数据库之间进行支付和交付,然后使各种记录保持一致。在大型金融中心,交易往往需要两整天才能完成结算。一些证券交易所希望了解区块链的分布式、防篡改分类账以及不可变和透明的交易记录是否可以加速和简化这一流程。

美国、澳大利亚、瑞士和新加坡等地的交易所都在研究这一理念。比如,澳大利亚证券交易所ASX在尝试使用区块链来取代其主要清算和结算平台,并开始对美国公司Digital Asset的技术进行持续测试,新型平台计划于2021年中期投入使用。再比如,11月11日,新加坡证券交易所(SGX)、新加坡金融管理局(MAS)和新加坡中央银行则宣布推出一个原型系统,能够使用区块链进行资产交割、支付和结算。

这些项目与区块链爱好者的愿景完全不同。例如,ASX虽然使用分类账,但仍然非常中心化。作为交易的一方,ASX必须对所有参与者进行批准(与比特币一样,无需进行能源密集型验证和记录更新)。虽然网络对所有人开放,但只有部分银行和经纪人可以选择直接访问,其他人必须通过网络进行交易。与比特币分类账的完全透明相反,市场参与者无法访问整个数据集(出于法律原因,但也因此他们不必放弃定位)。也不会实时结算。

那么,为什么要这么麻烦呢? Digital Asset的Kelly Mathieson表示,公司的专用编程语言DAML可以实现金融合同自动化,将进一步简化创新。她说,繁琐的对账进程将得到大大简化。

最快到明年,投资者就能够看到另一个规模较小的实验的结果。瑞士证券交易所的母公司SIX集团将推出一个交易股票和债券等资产的单独的数字平台,这个平台使用的正是区块链可以处理的通证化格式。SIX集团的Thomas Zeeb表示,通证化将消除交易最小规模的限制,并拓展可交易资产的范围。Zeeb先生已经与一家博物馆接洽,该博物馆希望将其艺术收藏品通证化,作为一种新的资金来源。投资者可以通过代币了解可交易艺术品价值的上涨或下跌。

所有这些项目都已获得或计划获得官方认可; 毕竟,交易所是受到政府严格监管的部门。 但新加坡的项目显示了获得官方认可之外的价值。 MAS的参与意味着原型系统不局限于股票交易或结算,同时也面向中央银行发行的数字货币。对于区块链这种旨在规避政府集中监管的技术来说,已经发生了彻底变化。

BLOCKCHAIN, THE technology underlying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, was designed with an ideological aim: to sidestep central authorities and governments. But many people have become intrigued by its practical uses, such as updating back-office processes. And few institutions have shown more interest in such applications than financial exchanges.

Although stock trades are often made in milliseconds by algorithms, completing them involves co-ordinating payment and delivery among a mess of databases and then reconciling the records. In big financial centres trades take two full days to settle. Some stock exchanges wonder whether blockchain’s distributed, tamper-proof ledgers and immutable and transparent transaction records could speed up and simplify the process.

Exchanges from America and Australia to Switzerland and Singapore are studying the concept. Australia’s stock exchange, the ASX, has moved furthest towards using blockchain to replace its main clearing and settlement platform. It has been testing technology from Digital Asset, an American firm, and will go live in mid-2021. And on November 11th SGX, Singapore’s stock exchange, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), its central bank, announced a prototype using blockchain for delivery, payment and settlement of assets.

These projects are strikingly unlike the vision of blockchain enthusiasts. ASX’s, for example, uses ledgers but remains quite centralised. A single counterparty, ASX itself, must approve participants (which removes the need for energy-intensive verification and updating of records, as with bitcoin). Though open to all, only some banks and brokers will opt for direct access. Everyone else must trade through them. In contrast to the complete transparency of the bitcoin ledger, market participants will not have access to the whole dataset (for legal reasons, but also so they do not have to give away their positions). And settlement will not be in real time.

Why, then, bother? Kelly Mathieson of Digital Asset says her firm’s purpose-built programming language, DAML, which enables financial contracts to be automated, will make further innovation easy. The tedious processes of reconciliation, she says, will be drastically simplified.

As soon as next year investors will be able to see the result of another, smaller experiment. SIX, the owner of the Swiss stock exchange, will launch a separate digital platform for trading assets, such as stocks and bonds, in “tokenised” form—that is, in a format blockchain can handle. Tokenising will eliminate minimum trade sizes, says Thomas Zeeb of SIX. It will also make a much wider range of assets tradable. Mr Zeeb has already been approached by a museum that wants to tokenise its art collection, as a novel source of funding. Investors would gain exposure to the value of the art going up or down through such tokens, which they could trade.

All these projects have, or plan to obtain, official blessing; after all, exchanges are highly regulated. But the Singaporean project shows the value of seeking more than a nod of approval. MAS’s involvement meant the prototype did not limit itself to stock trading or settlement, but also looked at digital currency issued by the central bank. Quite a turnaround for a technology designed to circumvent governments.

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栀航 | 未央团队未央编辑团队

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