JPMorgan Chase is considering making Quorum, its Blockchain and smart contracts platform, into its own company, Bloomberg reported yesterday, March 23.
A unnamed source told Bloomberg that no conclusion has yet been reached about whether Quorum would function better as an independent entity, which could potentially attract more partners. The Financial Times adds that other unnamed sources have said that the JPMorgan label attached to Quorum may be steering away potential partners that are also competitors of JPMorgan.
Brian Marchiony, a spokesperson for JPMorgan, said in an email that the company “continue[s] to believe distributed ledger technology will play a transformative role in business, which is why we are actively building multiple blockchain solutions.” Marchiony added that they are not going to “comment on speculation”, but:
“Quorum has become an extremely successful enterprise platform even beyond financial services and we’re excited about its potential.”
JPMorgan created Quorum in 2016 as part of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA), of which it was one of the founding partners. The EEA, launched in February of 2017 as a way to bring privacy, scalability, and security to the Ethereum Blockchain, now has over 200 members, including JPMorgan and Santander, as well as newer members like MasterCard, Intel and Microsoft.
The Quorum platform, which runs on the Ethereum (ETH) Blockchain and is modeled after the Ethereum Go client, is used by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Genentech as well as Microsoft Azure, among others.
Although JPMorgan has embraced the Blockchain technologies behind cryptocurrencies, CEO Jamie Dimon has made conflicting statements about crypto, at one point calling Bitcoin (BTC) a “fraud” but later telling Cointelegraph he was “not a skeptic”.
In early February of this year, JPMorgan had referred to cryptocurrencies as the “innovative maelstrom” around Blockchain technologies that is “unlikely to disappear.” JPMorgan had also written in their annual report later in February that cryptocurrencies were a risk that could disrupt financial institutions.