Friday, 07 August 2020

JPMorgan Executive: “We Are Big Believers in Ethereum”

Quorum, the bank's fork of the Go Ethereum client, is reportedly being used to tokenize gold bars.

Australia’s Financial Review recently interviewed JPMorgan’s (JPM) New York-based head of blockchain initiatives, Umar Farooq, who revealed that the bank is a big believer in Ethereum (ETH).

This makes sense, as the bank’s blockchain initiative, Quorum, is an enterprise-level distributed ledger protocol based on Ethereum. It is literally a fork of the Go Ethereum client and thus has as its foundation the previous work of Ethereum developers. It aims to be a permissioned version of Ethereum that offers certain advantages over the original.

“We are the only financial player that owns the entire stack, from the application to the protocol,” said Farooq in the interview.

Toward that end, JPMorgan clients have reportedly begun to tokenize physical gold bars onto the Quorum blockchain to allow companies to capitalize on sustainable mining methods to earn a premium on global markets.

Farooq emphasized that tokenizing commodities like gold would allow for new opportunities for global traders while reducing costs and risks associated with traditional markets.

“They wrap a gold bar into a tamper-proof case electronically tagged, and they can track the gold bar from the mine to end point – with the use case being, if you know it’s a socially responsible mine, someone will be willing to pay a higher spread on that gold versus if you don’t know where it comes from. Diamonds is another example,” added Farooq.

JPMorgan is currently considering spinning-off Quorum into its own entity and the firm plans to use it in capital markets issuance, secondary markets and custody, according to Farooq.

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