JPMorgan Launches Stablecoin and New Blockchain Subsidiary

Key Takeaways

  • JPMorgan has announced that its stablecoin, JPM Coin, is being used in commercial transactions.
  • It is also launching a new subsidiary, Onyx, to handle its bank settlement blockchain platform, Liink.
  • It’s not clear if JPMorgan plans to move further into blockchain.

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JPMorgan furthered its blockchain efforts this week with two major announcements, according to reports from CNBC.

JPM Coin Takes Flight With First Transaction

JPMorgan’s stablecoin (JPM Coin) will be used in commercial transactions for the first time this week, according to the global head of wholesale payments Takis Georgakopoulos.

He did not reveal which company is using JPM Coin, only that a “large technology client is using the stablecoin.”

JPMorgan originally announced its stablecoin in February 2019, but the bank was only using the coin for internal transactions at the time of the announcement. JPMorgan additionally suggested pilot tests would begin in late 2019.

However, it did not indicate that the coin was being fully used in commercial situations until now.

This week’s news implies that JPM Coin is ready for widespread use. However, it is still not available to retail customers, and JPMorgan’s website still says that it doesn’t “have plans to make [JPM Coin] available to individuals.”

Onyx Subsidiary Launches

Georgakopoulos also announced JPMorgan’s new subsidiary, Onyx, which serves as a business for its blockchain projects. He added that Onyx is meant to commercialize JPMorgan’s earlier blockchain work.

The firm’s efforts are “moving from research and development to something that can become a real business,” said Georgakopoulos.

Onyx currently handles JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network, which has been rebranded Liink.

This blockchain product is intended for use in regulatory compliance, account information management, and payment digitization. It could be used to remediate banking errors or eliminate paper checks, for example. In other words, the platform primarily handles banking-related information rather than digital assets.

JP Morgan executive Omar Farooq will serve as the CEO of Onyx. The firm contains more than 100 staff members, and it is currently in partnership with over 25 leading banks and more than 400 institutions.

Will JPMorgan Go Deeper Into Blockchain?

It is not clear whether JPMorgan plans to expand its blockchain offerings in the future. The company has been reluctant to endorse cryptocurrency outright. Furthermore, it sold one of its blockchain platforms (Quorum) to the Ethereum development firm ConsenSys earlier this year, reducing its own involvement in the project.

At the same time, JPMorgan has turned toward blockchain to some degree.

The firm has established a banking relationship with cryptocurrency companies, including Coinbase and Gemini. It also belongs to several blockchain coalitions, including the Hyperledger Foundation and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Some subsidiaries of JPMorgan, including Chase Bank, even offer cryptocurrency services to retail users.

The latest news indicates that JPMorgan is interested in expanding its commercial blockchain offerings, even if there are no new services announced to the public.

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