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London Stock Exchange Group to Launch Blockchain-Powered Digital Marketplace

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The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is preparing to introduce a digital marketplace that will use blockchain technology to facilitate the trading of traditional financial assets. This will position LSEG as the first major global stock exchange to employ blockchain for this purpose.

LSEG has been investigating the potential uses of blockchain technology in trading for about a year, according to Murray Roos, Head of Capital Markets at LSEG, who has been overseeing the initiative. The group believes it is now ready to proceed with its plans and has appointed Julia Hoggett, CEO of LSEG’s subsidiary London Stock Exchange plc, to lead the project.

Although blockchain technology is generally linked with cryptocurrencies, LSEG has stressed that the new digital marketplace will not involve cryptoassets. The aim is to use blockchain to improve the efficiency, transparency, and cost-effectiveness of trading traditional financial instruments such as stocks and bonds by making use of tokenisation, a method that converts traditional assets into digital tokens, which can then be traded on a blockchain. This approach is expected to simplify the often complex and manual processes associated with issuing and trading financial assets, particularly across currencies and jurisdictions.

The scope of LSEG’s initiative is expected to be extensive, with the new marketplace aiming to manage the entire lifecycle of financial assets, from issuance, to trading, reconciliation, and settlement.

LSEG has stated that the new digital marketplace is not intended to compete with its traditional business. Instead, it aims to offer an additional service that aligns with London’s reputation as a financial centre open to technological advancements.

The Group is currently in discussions with multiple regulatory bodies, as well as the UK government and Treasury, to obtain the necessary approvals before launching and becoming operational within a year.

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