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Use of distributed ledger technology in post-trade processes

12 April 2021

The European Central Bank has published a report by the Advisory Group on Market Infrastructures for Securities and Collateral (AMI-SeCo), which has been investigating European stakeholders’ use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in securities post-trade processes in line with current regulation.

The report categorises securities issuance and post-trade processes into models depending on how DLT is used in each case, drawing implications for the use of DLT at different stages of the securities life cycle, from issuance to custody and settlement.

Various institutional actors and market players are currently experimenting with DLT with a view to potentially enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. However, the lack of common practices and standards for its adoption could increase the degree of market fragmentation.

In order to prevent further market fragmentation, the adoption of DLT-based solutions should be based on common practices and standards that enable DLT systems to interact with both each other and conventional systems. In parallel, a consolidated approach based on regulatory licences and conduct of business rules is needed to ensure a sound governance of security post-trade services. Such an approach would create incentives for the wide-scale adoption of DLT.