According to recent reports, major banking firm JP Morgan Chase have developed a new security feature that has been designed to work within a branch of the Ethereum blockchain. As it stands, we know that JP Morgan are putting a lot of time and money into blockchain research, this latest development however just goes to show the scale and rate at which JP Morgan are exploring the blockchain, through the creation of a privacy tool that works on the Quorum blockchain, a project built on Ethereum.
According to Coindesk:
“JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain team has developed a privacy feature for ethereum-based blockchains, obscuring not only how much money is being sent but who is sending it. Revealed exclusively to Coindesk, JPMorgan has built an extension to the Zether protocol, a fully decentralized, cryptographic protocol for confidential payments, compatible with ethereum and other smart contract platforms and designed to add a further layer of anonymity to transactions. The New York-based financial institution will open-source the extension Tuesday, and is likely to use it with Quorum, the bank’s homegrown, private version of ethereum.”
It seems that this system has been designed to allow for greater security within the Zether protocol, also allowing JP Morgan to experiment with further security features that could come as a part of a pre-packaged product, whenever the bank decides it’s time to release their own fully working blockchain (if indeed they decide to do that).
“Zether’s confidential payments architecture incorporates an account-based approach employed by ethereum, as opposed to the unspent transaction output, or UTXO-based approach, which the bitcoin client uses. The UTXO is also a feature of the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency zcash, which the original ZKP component of Quorum was based on. In this way, the extension could benefit not only users of Quorum, but also enterprises building on top of other ethereum variants – or, conceivably, businesses leveraging the public ethereum chain.”
Coindesk also points out that though this system has been designed for Quorum, the way Quorum is built means that the system could be rolled out within any other Ethereum based blockchains. As a product designed for institutional use then, combined with the scale and reach of Ethereum, JP Morgan look to be creating something that will really help them stand out when it comes to the adoption of institution based blockchains in the coming years. This project is still in its early days, however as we can see from the news, JP Morgan are making good time and seem to be pulling things together quite quickly now.