BNY Mellon and JP Morgan are both accelerating their digital asset hiring. Each has more than a dozen job openings specific to digital assets or blockchain. BNY Mellon is developing digital cash, and JP Morgan appears to be eyeing acquisitions.
BNY Mellon, digital assets and digital cash
BNY Mellon is the world’s largest global custodian, with $44 trillion in assets under custody. There are roughly 18 positions primarily related to digital assets, with dozens more mentioning digital assets in the job description.
Two points of interest are its strategy and the mention of digital cash.
Regarding strategy, one of the BNY Mellon job posts states, “Our digital assets strategy focuses on extending our core products to support this new asset class, building brand new businesses, and leveraging DLT as a capability to transform our services and modernize our infrastructure.”
The most notable vacancy is the role of ‘Digital Cash Product Architect.’
We’ve asked BNY Mellon to elaborate on the nature of the digital cash, but they declined to comment. Stepping back, consider that the bank provides institutional custody for crypto. If it wants to help settle crypto transactions, then on-chain cash would be useful.
Speculating how BNY Mellon digital cash might work, it could involve private tokenized money that switches with a public stablecoin at the point of settlement. It’s also conceivable the bank could provide deposit tokens on a public blockchain along the lines of what JP Morgan has been discussing. But from a regulatory perspective, the latter currently lacks regulatory clarity.
The digital cash job description includes being a subject matter expert on:
- Regulatory implications for product design
- DLT through lens of commercial and strategic applicability to the product / LOB (line of business), and technical expertise on evolving trends
- Integration with broader enterprise tokenization strategy.
The person will also develop ‘client and industry facing thought leadership on DLT and development of new technologies (e.g., parachains, bridges, etc).’
Meanwhile, BNY Mellon appointed Caroline Butler as CEO of the Digital Assets unit at the start of this month.
JP Morgan eyes acquisitions?
Turning to JP Morgan, it has around 15 open positions in its Onyx blockchain division in India, Greece and New York.
Apart from 15 direct Onyx vacancies, a handful of roles within JP Morgan payments relate to Onyx. One position in the payments division involves strategic investments and M&A integration. Part of the role covers the “broader strategic agenda for J.P. Morgan Payments, including priority initiatives related to Onyx / Liink / JPM Coin, APIs / Open Banking, integrated industry solutions (e.g., for marketplaces), and many more.” This might imply that acquisitions are on the radar for Onyx.
Another of the roles reveals that the Onyx Digital Assets blockchain network has processed $550 billion in transactions since its inception. This would include its repo network. (Broadridge’s DLT repo is somewhat different, but it does $1 trillion a month).
And the job ads clarify that there are four pillars in Onyx’s work:
- Liink by J.P. Morgan, a blockchain network of banks that facilitates payments and banking information exchange
- Coin Systems, a global provider of shared ledger solutions enabled by JPM Coin
- Onyx Digital Assets, a blockchain network that enables tokenization and creation of various types of digital assets
- Blockchain Launch, web3 innovation unit focused on conceptualizing and building new applications at the bleeding edge of blockchain technology.
Meanwhile, JP Morgan partnered with Oliver Wyman to promote deposit tokens that tokenize bank money on open networks.