While ASX demurs, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange launches crypto trading platform

Oct 26, 2022

By Velvet-Belle Templeman, Digital Nation

While ASX is steering clear of a digital currency exchange, the Israel Stock Exchange is launching a blockchain based digital asset trading platform as part of its five-year strategic plan.

Announced in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) 2023-2027 strategy document, the exchange outlined its plans to “enter the crypto world” through a blockchain based crypto exchange.

According to TASE CEO Itai Ben Zeev,”We see in the next five years a critical window of opportunity for the integration of the Israeli Stock Exchange in the technological revolution that the world’s capital markets are going through.

“We not only intend to be part of the change but to strive and lead it.”

According to Michelle Blum, CEO at Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC), Israel’s crypto exchange will provide opportunities for Australian business.

“Exchanges like the TASE are examining blockchain technology implementation with the goal of reducing costs, shortening timelines, improving transparency and making capital markets more accessible. More efficient, open exchanges will benefit all the listed companies traded on the exchange, including Australian businesses. Especially in these tumultuous economic and political times investors are looking for improved liquidity combined with transparency as well as opportunities for diversification,” said Blum.

When it comes to the Australian Securities Exchange’s (ASX) position on the matter, an ASX spokesperson told Digital Nation Australia, “ASX does not currently have any plans to develop a digital currency exchange.”

While the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) formerly held a hostile view of cryptocurrencies, its thinking evolved last year with the launch of BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF, allowing shareholders to get exposure to cryptocurrencies.

The ASX also launched its first metaverse ETF via BetaShares (ASX:MTAV) in August this year.

An ASX spokesperson told Digital Nation Australia at the time, “ASX is aware of the interest in – and improving credibility of – crypto-related businesses. But must strike a balance that protects the interests of the Australian market overall.

“We continue to work closely with issuers and are reviewing our rules framework to ensure appropriate crypto-related offerings can be brought to market prudently.”

Digital Ledger Technologies

Israel’s TASE also announced its plans to implement digital ledger technologies (DLT), as well as the tokenisation of digital assets and smart contracts.

“The exchange intends to examine a wide range of potential courses of action, including converting existing infrastructures to innovative technologies, establishing dedicated platforms based on the innovative technologies, offering various services and products in connection with digital assets and more,” according to a TASE spokesperson.

ASX launched its ‘DLT as a Service’ offering, Synfini last November, powered by VMware Blockchain. The purpose of Synfini is to accelerate both innovation and time to market, according to ASX.

The first DLT application went live on the platform recently – the Building Trustworthy Indicator from KPMG Origins, in partnership with the NSW Government.

Paul Stonham, general manager DLT Solutions at ASX spoke to Digital Nation Australia about the sustainability benefits of the project in a blockchain documentary earlier this year.

Stonham said, “You’ve now got every single input that makes up your apartment building in an immutable ledger. You can easily then extract that information to say here’s my immutable ledger certified reports for my ESG because I know exactly how much steel went into that building, and how it was manufactured, I can create the CO2 offset requirements.”

ASX has also completed a proof of concept with digital assets investment firm Zerocap for the trading, custody and administration of digital assets.

AICC’s Blum believes that the perception of Web3 technologies is changing in the financial markets.

“The transition is part of the decentralisation we see across the whole of the of financial services, and the meteoric rise of cryptocurrency, which is having broad based impact in many areas, including the banking and trading sectors,” she said.

“While the blockchain, cryptocurrency and new ideas such as ‘stablecoin’ tokenisation have huge potential, concerns regarding regulatory settings and trust in digital trading platforms and assets remain top of mind for many, and in particular, consumers.”