JPMorgan Deep Dives in Blockchain with Onyx, CEO says the Tech is Now Just Beyond the “Hype Curve”

  • JPMorgan’s stablecoin JPM Coin is finally being used commercially for the first time.

Takis Georgakopoulos, JPMorgan’s global head of wholesale payments, revealed on Tuesday that a major tech firm, whose name is not disclosed, will be using the token to make global payments starting this week.

The investment bank that moves more than $6 trillion a day across more than 100 countries has created a business unit called Onyx. In the making for five years, it is staffed with around 100 employees to do the blockchain projects in-house. Georgakopoulos said,

“We are launching Onyx because we believe we are shifting to a period of commercialization of those technologies, moving from research and development to something that can become a real business.”

The bank aims to save 75% of the total cost for the industry. But the project is months from its commercial launch, said Umar Farooq, the newly named CEO of Onyx.

“If you think about blockchain, we are either somewhere in the trough of disillusionment or just beyond that on the hype curve,” Farooq said, referring to the “Gartner Hype Cycle.” “That’s why at JPMorgan, we’ve been relatively quiet about it until we were ready to scale it and commercialize it.”

As we reported, the bank has also revamped its Interbank Information Network (IIN), piloted in 2017 as Liink that has over 400 banks and corporations as partners.

The company is also looking into creating new, separate payment rails for central banks that are interested in starting their own currencies. Georgakopoulos said,

“If we are able to develop a model that works, we think the probability of adoption becomes very high.”

Additionally, JPMorgan is reportedly actively exploring digital asset custody and is looking for help from crypto firms. To offer the services, it would enlist sub-custodians and have already reached out to firms like Fidelity Digital Assets and Paxos.

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