Fresh news 2018-08-30 23:00
Multinational investment bank JPMorgan Chase has had a chequered relationship with cryptocurrencies over the years. While it has maintained an apparent apathy toward Bitcoin and the likes, the financial institution has openly embraced blockchain technology and is actively using it in various internal projects.
This has come to the fore in August 2018, as chief information officer Lori Beer made a bold statement in an interview, claiming that blockchain technology ‘will replace’ existing financial systems in the next few years.
Beer’s sentiments come at an interesting time, especially considering JPMorgan’s yin-and-yang attitude towards decentralized ledger technology (DLT).
Blockchain technology underpins the existence of cryptocurrencies, which have multiplied in number and applications since Bitcoin was birthed in 2009. Therefore, it is worth taking a trip down memory lane to understand the juxtaposition between the company’s attitude toward cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
As has been the case with most financial institutions, the emergence of cryptocurrencies has been met with a certain element of trepidation. Some have been more accepting than others, but JPMorgan has had one of the more interesting stories to tell.
The company hasn’t been overly opposed to the notion of cryptocurrencies, but its leadership — CEO Jamie Dimon, in particular — has been nothing short of hypercritical over the past few years. As we will delve into, this has caused a contrasting narrative in terms of the company’s projects and exploits in the space when compared with the opinions of Dimon.
In November 2016, JPMorgan published a white paper for Quorum, which is a private blockchain platform built on the Ethereum protocol.
As a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), JPMorgan’s development of Quorum is aligned with the mandate of the EEA, which aims to bring privacy, scalability and security to the Ethereum blockchain. This is directly aimed at enterprises that want to control the accessibility and use of data through a blockchain system.
Quorum’s blockchain looks to provide data privacy to companies, using the Ethereum network to validate transactions, which was described in the opening paragraph of the white paper: