Blockchain for Banking News

JP Morgan-backed tokenized deposit firm Partior names new CEO


In January we reported the abrupt departure of CEO Jason Thompson from  Partior, which has finally announced his replacement as Humphrey Valenbreder from bunq, the Dutch neobank. Singapore-based Partior has created an interbank blockchain network for wholesale cross border payments that maintains the correspondent banking model but uses tokenization for speed, round-the-clock payments and automation. It was founded by DBS Bank, JP Morgan, Standard Chartered  and Temasek. In related news, all three settlement banks are now operational on the platform.

Former CEO Thompson and Mr Valenbreder have some things in common. Both have a commercial focus (Valenbreder was acting CCO at Bunq) and worked at unicorns before joining Partior. However, one major difference is that Valenbreder previously spent long stints at traditional banks, mainly with ABN Amro, but also with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

JP Morgan was first to go live on the Partior network late last year after receiving the approval of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) a year ago. However, a single active bank on the network isn’t that useful, especially given JP Morgan has its own blockchain network. 

Hence, the integration of DBS and Standard Chartered with the platform is big news. The initial supported currencies are U.S. dollars, Euro and Singapore dollars in five jurisdictions: Singapore, New York, Frankfurt, London and Hong Kong. Additionally it has a pipeline of more than 30 institutions looking to integrate.

With correspondent banking via Swift, there’s the separation of the message and money movement. The three founding Partior banks still act as correspondents, so there’s no removal of intermediaries. However, if a smaller bank wants to send a payment via one of them, compliance checks are done first, and then the tokenized payment is sent and arrives at its destination in minutes, including at night and weekends. What Partior enables is faster transactions with programmability supporting automated workflows.

Partior’s next steps

Since the BIS coined the term Unified Ledger, Partior likes to call itself a Unified Ledger. Beyond cross border payments, the company is now working on its second solution, intraday FX swaps.

Earlier this year, Partior signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). While the details were thin on the ground, it’s likely Qatar will explore connectivity with the network. Partior founder JP Morgan has been actively deploying its single bank blockchain-based network JPM Coin Systems in the Middle East.

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