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Australian Securities Exchange to cut up to 200 jobs from blockchain project

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at the main board at the Australian Securities Exchange building in central Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian Securities Exchange will cut up to 200 contractors working on a project to replace its main trading platform with so-called blockchain technology after cancelling the overhaul, the company told Reuters.

After announcing plans in 2016 to replace its decades-old platform with distributed ledger technology, which is also referred to as blockchain, the world's 13th-largest stock exchange pulled the project last month citing an independent report which found it was riddled with problems.

The exchange had months earlier delayed the completion date of the overhaul - one of the most high profile cases of using blockchain technology, the same concept which underpins cryptocurrency - by 20 months to late 2024.

The ASX had a total of about 300 people working on the now-cancelled project, of which one-third were permanent staff and two-thirds were contractors and consultants, a spokesperson said.

Permanent staff would stay at the company but "consultants and contractors whose work is now paused or is due to complete will roll off the project in line with this," the spokesperson said in an email.

The exchange had retained some contractors involved in the overhaul to work on a review of the project or other roles at the company, the spokesperson added.

The ASX said last month that it would take a charge of up to A$255 million in its December 2022 half-year results.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)