German stock exchange company Deutsche Börse has established a division that will focus on work related to blockchain, crypto-assets and new securities. It will employ 24 employees who will be engaged in research and development of various ways of using distributed registry technology.
“According to Deutsche Börse, distributed registry technology and blockchain are a key opportunity to create new market structures, allowing us to complement our existing structures with new products and improve existing ones,” said Jens Hachmeister, the head of the new division. “The potential of these technologies affects our entire value chain – preparation for IPO and listing, trading and clearing, settlements and custodial services, and even business related to data and analysis.”
Hachmeister also mentioned several agreements and pilot projects of the company in the field of blockchain. For example, Deutsche Börse previously cooperated with the German Federal Bank in developing a prototype of a distributed register for settlement securities transactions. In addition, the company recently purchased a non-controlling block of shares blockchain-firm HQLAx and will use its technology in services related to the loan of securities.
However, according to Hachmeister, these initiatives have not yet been used at the level of the entire group of companies, which led to the decision to form a special unit aimed at making fuller use of the potential of blockchain.
He added that the new technology will not be the answer to all the questions, although the digital economy is moving towards decentralization. In his opinion, more and more P2P-markets will appear, and the number of intermediaries will decrease.
“Seeing the rhythm of technological progress and the transformational potential of the blockchain, we will stand at the roots of a new era that can become subversive for the entire industry,” Hachmeister said, adding that the future is preparing both opportunities and difficulties.
Blockchain-initiative of Deutsche Börse is part of a broader strategy of the company, named “Road Map 2020” and has three key directions. One of them is rapidly developing technologies: blockchain, cloud computing, large data and analysis, as well as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).