International investment bank and notorious Bitcoin skeptics, JPMorgan Chase , have introduced JPM Coin, the first cryptocurrency to be rolled out by a major U.S. bank. This will be one of the first real-world crypto applications for banking and establishes the bank for a future where crypto could be an integral part of the traditional finance world.
Umar Farooq, head of JPMorgan’s blockchain operations, told CNBC in an interview that trials of JPM Coin would start in the coming months and that three use cases had already emerged.
“The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this,” he said.
In May, the bank filed a patent for a P2P interbank blockchain payment system, with settlements between large corporate clients now set to form a major focus for JPM Coin.
JPM Coin Is Only For Institutional Clients
The new tokens, each of which represents one U.S. dollar, will help settle some payments between the bank’s clients but will facilitate only a “tiny fraction” of its wholesale payments business. But any crypto enthusiasts hoping to get their hands on one will find themselves disappointed. Only big institutional clients of JPMorgan Chase who have undergone regulatory checks, can use the tokens.
The company has become infamous for its hostile stance towards cryptocurrencies, even banning customers from buying Bitcoin with credit cards. CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin “a fraud” in 2017, single handedly plunging the price. He has however, backtracked slightly and commented that he regrets saying it and that he is a fan of the technology behind Bitcoin.
Last year the bank’s co-president, Daniel Pinto, went on record to admit cryptocurrency “will play a role” in the future global economy.“I think the concept is valid, you have many central banks looking into,” he said speaking to CNBC in May 2018. “The tokenization of the economy, for me, is real. Cryptocurrencies are real but not in the current form”.
Image: Isabelle OHara / Shutterstock.com