Archax’s DLT post-trade market infrastructure appoints Martin Watkins as CEO

Rick Steves

Montis Digital’s DLT post-trade market infrastructure is designed to be blockchain agnostic and will be available to exchanges and market participants globally.

Montis Digital, a subsidiary of FCA-regulated digital securities exchange, broker, and custodian Archax, has appointed Martin Watkins, the former EY, Atos Euronext, and Euroclear industry veteran as Chief Executive Officer.

Montis is building digitally native, blockchain-based post-trade infrastructure to allow tokenized assets, such as digital securities or security tokens.

Many tokenised assets are regulated under securities regulations in their jurisdiction of issuance, such as the European Union’s Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR) which mandates that ownership of digital securities be maintained in a Central Securities Depositary (CSD) if the issuance is being admitted to a secondary market for trading – such as Archax.

Since existing CSDs are not digitally native nor blockchain-based, Archax has gone forward with setting up Montis Digital to provide the post-trade capabilities that are needed to underpin the growing and rapid adoption of regulated digital securities around the world, namely recording ownership ‘on chain’ or tokens being freely transferable between wallets.

Graham Rodford, CEO of the Archax Group, said: “The potential benefits of using blockchain technology in financial markets are particularly relevant in the post-trade space, where currently there are many intermediaries involved and the whole process can be time consuming and inefficient.

“Blockchain-based post-trade infrastructure can reduce settlement times, remove friction, improve efficiency and lower costs – and our subsidiary Montis Digital is building out the technology that is required for this, and crucially is independent of all the other Archax venues, products, and services too.”

Martin Watkins, CEO of Montis Digital, said: “I’m excited to be part of Montis Digital and the Archax Group, working at the forefront of building the next generation of infrastructure for capital markets using blockchain technology.

“Having worked with leading Financial Markets Infrastructure (FMI) providers globally and been EMEIA lead for Exchanges and FMI at EY, I am fully aware of the challenges that exist in the post-trade world, and how new distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be leveraged to revolutionize the ecosystem.”

Archax has recently appointed Malcolm Ford to its Institutional Sales division in London and Alex Royle to its executive committee as the new Chief Compliance Officer.

The firm, along with other names within the digital asset space, has joined Broctagon’s inter-exchange liquidity network, NEXUS WorldBook – a crypto liquidity ecosystem, committed to building a cohesive network for both makers and takers.

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