DTCC’s Project Ion Goes Live in Parallel Production

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC)’ s Project Ion platform, has gone live in a parallel production environment, processing an average of over 100,000 bilateral equity transactions per day, and almost 160,000 transactions on peak days. 

Project Ion represents one of the largest DLT (distributed ledger technology) initiatives in equities settlement across the financial services industry.

The goal of Project Ion is to ultimately provide a resilient, secure and scalable alternative settlement service to clients, with the option to leverage DLT for those firms who wish to take advantage of the emerging technology.

Murray Pozmanter

“This is a milestone achievement for the equity markets and reflects the deep level of collaboration and partnership between DTCC and our clients,” said Murray Pozmanter, Managing Director, President of DTCC Clearing Agency Services and Head of Global Business Operations.

“Project Ion is an important step forward in advancing digitalization in financial markets and opens the door to exciting, new opportunities to drive greater efficiencies, risk management and cost savings for the industry. Digitized assets and emerging technology like DLT are shaping and evolving the financial services landscape, and we remain committed to advancing innovative solutions that capitalize on opportunities, deliver new value and drive the industry forward.”

DTCC’s private, permissioned DLT platform was developed in collaboration with firms, including Apex Clearing, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, Citi, Credit Suisse Securities USA, Fidelity Investments, Fnality International, Goldman Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley & Co, Raymond James Financial, Robinhood Securities, State Street Corporation, and Virtu Financial.

DTCC partnered with R3 to develop and launch the Project Ion platform leveraging R3’s Corda DLT software.

Project Ion is being designed to adhere to rigorous regulatory standards and deliver the resiliency, volume capacity, security, scalability and risk controls. 

Project Ion is also being built to support a netted T+0 settlement cycle, as well as T+2, T+1 and extended settlement cycles.

“Project Ion provides a parallel book and infrastructure for limited bilateral transactions, with DTC’s existing systems remaining the authoritative source of transactions. With firms across the industry at different levels of maturity around DLT adoption, DTCC is building this platform to provide optionality and flexibility to clients. Those who are ready to leverage the Project Ion platform can begin development efforts today while others can continue to use our classic solutions,” commented Michele Hillery, General Manager of Equity Clearing and DTC Settlement Service at DTCC.

With the production parallel now live, DTCC is working closely with its clients on a phased expansion of the platform. 

The Project Ion platform will continue to be enhanced according to client and industry needs. 

Future enhancements may include additional DTC activities and capabilities as well as the expansion of Project Ion to DTCC subsidiary National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) to take advantage of NSCC’s central counterparty (CCP) trade guarantee for every cleared transaction.