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JP Morgan’s Quorum Facing Spin Off in Search for Differentiation

· March 23, 2018 · 8:30 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is eyeing potential spin-off of its signboard blockchain project Quorum. The company believes that by its differentiation could increase the overall appeal of the platform, readying it for widespread adoption in a stronger manner.

Walking on Thin Ice or Solidifying Positions?

Even though the talks were still in their infancy, a potential spin-off of Quorum might raise a few eyebrows. The change of heart in the direction that Quorum seems to be moving towards might have had put JPMorgan into a rather sensitive situation, especially after Jamie Dimon, company’s Chief Executive called Bitcoin “a fraud, worse than tulip bulbs”.

However, he’s already retracted his comments, saying that he regrets them and validated blockchain as “real”. What is more, in an official statement, the bank stated:

We continue to believe distributed ledger technology will play a transformative role in business which is why we are actively building multiple blockchain solutions,” the bank said in a statement. We’re not going to comment on speculation, but Quorum has become an extremely successful enterprise platform even beyond financial services and we’re excited about its potential.

It seems that it’s the company’s belief that future independence could increase Quorum’s appeal. And it makes sense. After all, banks and the concept of decentralization itself don’t really go hand in hand.

It remains unclear what the future plans for Quorum might mean for the employees who have been working on the project and if they’d join the new entity.

Going Blockchain

Quorum was initially created back in 2016 and it runs on top of the Ethereum blockchain. It’s overseen by Amber Baldet, Executive Director of JP Morgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence. The main idea behind the undertaking is to deliver a digital ledger to be used by private enterprise clients – corporations, manufacturers, and banks, to begin with. Current companies with Quorum-based projects are HIS Markit Ltd., ING Groep NV, Microsoft Corp., and Pfizer Inc.

Apart from JPMorgan, Quorum is also being trialed by Australia’s ANZ and the Royal Bank of Canada to create a messaging system based on blockchain technology in an attempt to speed up cross-border payments. The technology is also being tested by ABN Amro, Louis Dreyfus Company, ING, and Societe Generale to digitize the documentation required for trading agricultural commodities.

Whether it’s a strategic move strengthening the concept of Quorum by underlying the essence of decentralization or it’s a step-down is something that remains to be seen.

Should Quorum stray away from JPMorgan and become a new entity? Don’t hesitate to leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of DepositPhotos

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