DTCC to explore DLT solutions in projects aimed at optimizing public and private markets

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has announced plans to launch two studies aimed at integrating digital ledger technology (DLT) in public and private markets. The so-called Project Ion will look to leverage DLT for more efficient settlement on the public side, while Project Whitney will explore tokenization and other digital solutions for private market securities.

DTCC already provides significant post-trade market infrastructure, but it's looking to digitize, according to Jennifer Peve, Managing Director, Business Innovation at DTCC. Ion and Whitney are the next steps in the digitization journey, according to Peve.

“Both serve as examples of practical experiments incorporating innovative technology and business concepts designed to strengthen post-trade processes and provide a resilient, secure and efficient post-trade infrastructure for the industry," she said in a statement.

However, both projects are still in the experimental stage, according to the release, and forward movement will depend on industry feedback.

Ion is DTCC's proof of concept (POC), developed with hopes of validating an alternative, faster digital settlement service that maintains central netting and prevents fragmentation of the clearing and settlement ecosystem. But, as CoinDesk reported, it hasn't yet proved that DLT can function at the necessary scale, since UI/UX was prioritized over scalable architecture. 

On the private market side, Project Whitney is DTCC's prototype for a digitized private market infrastructure for each stage of private securities, from issuance to transfer. The project posits that security tokens among other solutions could abstract much of the manual processes, creating a smoother market for private securities.