ADX signs blockchain agreement with UK’s Equichain

The bourse would become first stock exchange in Mena to use blockchain in its services

Companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange have filed statements disclosing whether they have had limited, direct or indirect exposure to Abraaj Group. Reuters
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Equichain, a UK-based fintech company that provides blockchain technology for capital markets, will advise the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) on how to use new technologies to increase efficiencies, as part of its market steering group.

“The open exchange with Equichain and members of the working group will allow us to identify and test new applications of blockchain technology, aiming to enhance the speed and security of capital market transactions to the benefit of our investors and stakeholders,” said Rashed Al Blooshi, chief executive of ADX, in a statement on Monday.

ADX has already used blockchain technology in its e-voting services for the annual general meetings of its listed companies, making it the first stock market in the Middle East and North Africa region and the third globally to adopt blockchain in its services, according to the statement.

Capital markets and free zones across the Arabian Gulf are looking to blockchain and other types of fintech to streamline their operations and keep up with global trends that are rapidly changing the industry.


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Expanding the fintech sector has also been identified by regional governments as one way of diversifying traditionally hydrocarbon-based industries away from oil and creating a knowledge-based economy and more sophisticated digital infrastructure.

In the UAE, as well as in Bahrain and Kuwait, governments have developed new regulations for the fast-evolving fintech industry and to support fintech start-ups.

London-based Equichain operates two invitation-only working groups: one for institutional investors and one for market infrastructure providers, such as stock exchanges. With its blockchain technology, it aims to eliminate some of the complexities in the trading cycle, and thereby support investors and capital markets.

Under the agreement announced on Monday, ADX will join one of the steering groups, which also comprise thought leaders from across the financial services industry. The group will “explore applications of Equichain’s platforms and products, in addition to providing a forum to discuss the practical application of blockchain in capital markets."

As a partner, ADX will work closely with the other members of the group to share experiences and best practices on institutional blockchain technology that could be used by the exchange.

“This [partnership] will further our efforts towards establishing a more streamlined capital markets environment for investors, providing greater efficiency, reduced risk and lower cost,” said Nicholas Bone, founder and chief executive of Equichain.

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