LSE Group draws up plans for blockchain-based digital assets business

LSE Group draws up plans for blockchain-based digital assets business

© Reuters. Signage for the London Stock Exchange Group is seen outside of offices in Canary Wharf in London, Britain, August 3, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/file photo

(Reuters) – The London Stock Exchange Group (LON:) has drawn up plans for a new digital markets business to offer extensive trading of traditional financial assets on the blockchain technology known for powering cryptocurrency, the Financial Times reported.

The company had been examining the potential for a blockchain-powered trading venue for around a year and reached an “inflection point” where it decided to take plans forward, Murray Roos, head of capital markets at the LSE Group, told FT in an interview.

Blockchain is a digital ledger which records and verifies transactions.

LSE is not building anything around cryptoassets but it is looking to use the technology that underpins tokens like bitcoin to improve the efficiency of buying, selling and holding traditional assets, Roos told FT.

“The idea is to use digital technology to make a process that is slicker, smoother, cheaper and more transparent . . . and to have it regulated.”

LSEG is considering using a separate legal entity for the digital markets business, the report said on Monday, adding that it hoped to have it running within the next year, subject to regulatory approvals.

The company is already in talks with regulators, multiple jurisdictions, as well as the government and Treasury in the UK, the report added.

The London Stock Exchange Group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The reported move comes at a time when a number of mainstream financial institutions are talking about the potential for blockchain to streamline the process of issuing and trading financial assets.

Thomson Reuters (NYSE:), parent of Reuters News, holds a minority stake in LSEG, which pays Reuters for news.

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