JPMorgan Chase was one of the first financial institutions to “learn to love the blockchain.” In 2015, the bank created a division dedicated to exploring emerging technologies and launched its own blockchain, Quorum, in 2018.
Ironically, in 2019, the bank introduced its own stable cryptocurrency, JPMCoin, although JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon expressed skepticism about cryptocurrencies in particular.
Two of the developers who worked in the blockchain division of the bank presented the history of blockchain inside the institution. Stuart Popejoy and Will Martino worked at JPMorgan during 2015-2016, during which time they developed the Juno blockchain.
The project has transformed into a prepayment pilot that JPMorgan has deployed to offices in London, Tokyo and New York. It has been used to streamline the settlement of transactions, similar to those currently achieved by JPM Coin. In 2016 the two presented the Juno open source project at the Hyperledger Foundation.
All at their time
At that time, JPMorgan was not ready to implement blockchain technology. However, after the departure of the two developers, they realized the benefits it offers.
Thus, the Quorum blockchain, based on Ethereum technology, appeared. Unlike the IBM Hyperledger, the Quorum blockchain is much simpler, but still faces the complexity issues when making an architecture for confidential transactions. Another major disadvantage is that the technology exists under the management of a large bank, not a dedicated technology company. For JPMorgan, Quorum will always be a product, not its core business.
Many of the project developers have left the company. Which means that in the long run, users may no longer receive support. Popejoy and Martino expect the bank to pivot in the future towards a mature blockchain platform to adopt for its workflows. However, JPMorgan has proven the potential of the blockchain and built something that has been successfully implemented and used by key partners.