Last week saw a very significant announcement from JP Morgan, with the launch of the new JPM Coin, a central bank backed cryptocurrency designed by JP Morgan.
Who are JP Morgan
JP Morgan Chase & Co is a US based investment bank that has operations across the globe. Whilst they are mostly based within New York, JP Morgan operate from offices on a multinational level and are considered to be the biggest banking group within the United States. Moreover, JP Morgan are considered to be the sixth largest bank in the world, with assets last year racking up to an incredible $2.543 trillion.
JPM Coin is the first US bank backed cryptocurrency and came through an announcement from JP Morgan officials last week, during which they said:
“The JPM Coin is based on blockchain-based technology enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts. Exchanging value, such as money, between different parties over a blockchain requires a digital currency, so we created the JPM Coin.”
JPM Coin is not a standalone cryptocurrency designed for use as an adopted currency, rather, JPM Coin makes up a portion of their new blockchain network designed to facilitate fast and cheap payments between the bank accounts of many of JP Morgan’s institutional customers. So no, this isn’t a currency that has been built to rival Bitcoin, rather this is a cryptocurrency that has been set up to help institutional banking customers make the most of blockchain technology and to allow JP Morgan to provide a working platform for the fast and cost effective transfer of money between their customers accounts.
Because JPM Coin is backed by the bank, the value of JPM Coin sits alongside the US Dollar:
“As a globally regulated bank, we believe we have a unique opportunity to develop the capability in a responsible way with the oversight of our regulators. Ultimately, we believe that JPM Coin can yield significant benefits for blockchain applications by reducing clients’ counter-party and settlement risk, decreasing capital requirements and enabling instant value transfer. JPM Coin is 1:1 redeemable in fiat currency held by J.P. Morgan.”
This is still in it’s prototype phase, though it’s still a very exciting announcement that promises big things for the institutional adoption of cryptocurrency. It’s clear that when JP Morgan’s big customers use JPM Coin, they are going to be exposed to a number of blockchain benefits which in turn, could encourage them to go on to explore other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Will this spur on a new wave of institutional investment? We hope so.