Digital Asset names JP Morgan veteran to drive landmark ASX project

Former JP Morgan exec to join Digital Asset as a senior product manager in the company's Sydney office.

Digital Asset has hired Stewart Cowan a 17-year JP Morgan veteran to play an integral role in the transformational blockchain project with the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The plans to use blockchain technology for the clearing and settlement of equity transactions at ASX were confirmed in December 2017.

The move follows extensive development of DLT for equity post-trade functions and testing carried out by both ASX and Digital Asset over the past two years.

Cowan joins ASX as a senior product manager in Digital Asset’s Sydney office.

At JP Morgan Cowan was executive director of regional trading services where he was responsible for the bank’s agent lending product and client relationships across the Asia Pacific region.

ASX’s blockchain project was heralded as a potential turning point for the post-trade industry at Sibos last year, and could serve as the basis for other market infrastructures to revamp their systems using the technology.

At the time of the conference, ASX was yet to confirm its decision to replace CHESS using blockchain technology, although panelists predicted it would be a ‘big moment’.

“This is the most advanced project in the infrastructure place, and they will be making a decision on how to move forward with that project,” Chris Church, chief business officer at Digital Asset told delegates. “That will be a big moment for this industry to prove if this technology can work.”

Blythe Masters, Digital Asset CEO, described ASX’s final decision on using blockchain as being “the first meaningful proof that the technology can live up to its potential”.