‘We Are Not Done With Blockchain Innovation’ Says JP Morgan’s New Blockchain Lead

JP Morgan Chase has changed its blockchain lead. Now, Christine Moy will be in charge of the company’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) office. The bank has been investing in blockchain in a project known as Quorum, which is based on the Ethereum’s platform and it is the backbone of the bank’s DLT’s strategy.

Some rumors circulated in internet about JP Morgan spinning-out the Quorum project and creating a separated platform. At the moment there are more than 20 different organizations that are ready to build on top of the bank’s blockchain network.

The main challenge that JP Morgan is facing is how to let the Quorum program to expand independently from the bank. Ms. Moy commented that what the media is commenting about Quorum is not exactly what the financial institution plans for it.

During a conversation with CoinDesk, she commented:

“That’s not the most exciting part about our team’s agenda; it’s part of the story but it’s not, like, the story.”

It is important to mark that JP Morgan is investing in several different blockchain projects that are separated from Quorum. We can mention that it is collaborating with Digital Asset Holdings, Axoni and Nivaura.

Blockchain Experts for JP Morgan

Moy is the new program lead for the Blockchain Centre of Excellence – also known as BCOE – at JP Morgan. She started working at JP Morgan’s syndicated loans business office, where she had to deal with documents that had to be signed before the transactions could close. Syndicated loans, can take up to 20 days to settle.

Later, she spent an important amount of years working across a range of assets and divisions at the bank; and she understood that a faster system for settlements was needed.

“It doesn’t make sense to design blockchains to reflect the siloed operating models existing today,” she says. “Creating a fragmentation of small blockchain networks, without figuring out a way to enable interoperability or connectivity, is likely not the promised path to the cost savings and operational efficiency that enterprises are looking for.”

Moy explains that there are several entities that are interested in working with the Quorum platform, and JP Morgan needs to take action, but also a decision about what to do with it. Some companies like IHS Markit, Broadridge, Synechron, ING, and BlockApps, picked up Quorum and started using it.

John Oleksy, managing director at IHS Markit, said about the bank’s blockchain network:

“Quorum has strong momentum in capital markets. It benefits not only from the halo effect from JP Morgan and the technological rigor that comes from a global bank skilled in enterprise strength software and compliance issues such as privacy.”

But that’s a problem because there is not such a thing as ‘software support for Quorum,’ or a specific department that helps enterprises integrate the technology. This is why JP Morgan is mulling over a spin-out.

In order to do so, the bank will have to hire more employees, blockchain experts and engineers. In the meantime, Moy is trying to bring new business applications and companies to Quorum.

“This is an example of us issuing a traditional financial instrument natively on the blockchain,” said Moy about the Bank’s decision to invest in DLT. “But the next phase is when you have real asset managers participating in a product like this; it’s about, what does custody look like? What does fund administration look like – and what does a trades market look like for something like this?” she asked.

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