JPMorgan Reportedly Mulls Spinning Off Quorum Blockchain Project


JPMorgan Chase & Co. is considering spinning off Quorum, its blockchain job, to enhance the platform's appeal as an independent entity, according to Reuters. The open source system's code is free and can be redistributed and modified.

The bank released a statement saying it still believes distributed ledger technology will play a transformative business role and that it has been develop multiple blockchain solutions. The statement also noted that Quorum has become an «exceptionally successful» enterprise platform beyond financial services.

JPMorgan's Quorum, constructed in partnership with EthLab, was co-founded in 2016 by Jeffrey Wilcke, an Ethereum core programmer, as «a minimalistic branch of the Go Ethereum client» and a «derivative of Go Ethereum.» It allows for tens of thousands of transactions per second, and increased privacy as smart contracts can be validated by parties to this contract.

Spinoff Impact Uncertain

One source said it's uncertain what impact the spinoff could have on JPMorgan employees working on Quorum.

Amber Baldet, an executive manager for JPMorgan's Blockchain Center of Excellence, that has been leading Quroum's product development, could combine the spinoff or remain at the lender the source said.

Baldet didn't respond to a request.

Blockchain Projects Ebb And Flow

Banks have spent millions on blockchain technology, hoping it will reduce costs and simplify some processes, such as thee settlement of security trades and global payments.

The technology is still in its formative period, however, and many projects have faced growing pains.

JPMorgan was part of the R3 blockchain consortium, but abandoned the consortium along with other banks involved in the project.

JP Morgan was also the lead investor in potential R3-competitor Digital Asset, in a $50 million-plus funding round in ancient 2016. The banking giant is also a member in the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project.

Quorum was initially based on the Ethereum network, which functioned as a significant Ethereum endorsement.

JPMorgan said it might use Quorum for interbank payments along with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.