In February 2019, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced that it had created its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin, a digital token created to improve payment settlements between JPMC clients. This product will not likely be available for retail investors, so it cannot be traded like bitcoin, or similar digital assets. CNBC reported at the time of the announcement that testing for this product would begin "in a few months" from the announcement. Based on this description, JPM Coins may work more similarly to stablecoins than to bitcoin. Another possibility is that they will function similar to XRP, the native digital token of the Ripple Network, which is used to settle large-volume payments between banks and other financial institutions across international borders.
In May 2019, Coindesk reported that Quorum, the blockchain upon which JPM Coin is based, had been significantly overhauled during the previous six months. Some of the most notable updates were changes made to Quorum's architecture that formed its privacy functions. Oli Harris, the JPMorgan Quorum lead, said Quorum was developed to serve as a platform for developing open source software.
In a potentially transformative transaction, Joseph Lubin's Ethereum-focused software development firm ConsenSys announced on August 25, 2020 that it had acquired Quorum from JPMorgan. ConsenSys said it would merge its existing protocol with Quorum, allowing it to choose the best of both protocols. The bank made an investment in ConsenSys of an undisclosed amount at the same time. The company said that JPMorgan will be a customer for the advanced features that are developed.
According to an October 27, 2020 report by CNBC, Takis Georgakopoulos, JPMorgan's global head of wholesale payments, said that one of the bank's large technology clients was using JPM Coin commercially for the first time, sending payments around the world. The bank also said that it had established a new business line called "Onyx" with a 100-person dedicated staff, which will let the bank commercialize its blockchain and digital currency developments.
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