Banking News

JP Morgan in blockchain hiring drive doubles down on JPM Coin, IIN

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The United States’ largest bank by total assets, JP Morgan, seems to be on a mini hiring drive for its blockchain projects. We noticed that LinkedIn recently listed over 15 different vacancies linked to blockchain, apart from job postings on other sites. The digital push highlights that for some applications, COVID-19 will accelerate the digitization drive.

JP Morgan has set up a new product line called “Coin and Clearing Networks (CCN) ” part of the wholesale payments division. “We are tasked with providing our clients and partners with new age cash management and payments services,” says the job posting.

Last year, JP Morgan introduced the JPM Coin to enable enterprises to settle blockchain transactions instantly. The BIS has classified it as a “wholesale stablecoin”, and it shares one or two features with Fnality’s payments platform. JPM Coin is backed one for one by JP Morgan bank account balances, whereas Fnality currencies will be backed by money held in central bank accounts.

Previously the bank said it planned to experiment with using JPM Coin to pay for tokenized bonds with instant settlement or delivery versus payment. The bank first trialed blockchain debt issuance in 2018 as part of a project called Dromaius

And six months ago, Baton Systems said it worked with JP Morgan to develop a distributed ledger-based solution to enable real-time cash movement and collateral transfers for derivatives.

In one of the most illuminating job postings, the bank is looking for a VP for innovation strategy for wholesale payments. 

“We are currently in the process of executing on an innovation agenda that has the potential to shape the world of commerce — via key initiatives such as the Interbank Information Network (IIN), JPM Coin, and Blockchain Center of Excellence,” JP Morgan said in its job posting. The position involves helping to “chart our path through these emerging spaces and the future of commerce.” 

The solution that had the most vacancy ads was the  Interbank Information Network (IIN), the messaging network for cross-border payments. It’s looking for someone to lead the IIN marketplace as well as for business development and the tech side. IIN currently has 397 members and allows banks to view transaction status and address queries, especially relating to anti money laundering. 

IIN has received significant interest from Japanese banks, and some high-profile members include Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, China CITIC, and Mizuho.

In 2015, JP Morgan set up the Blockchain Center of Excellence (BCOE), which supports the development of its blockchain ambitions. 

As part of the BCOE, the bank developed an enterprise version of Ethereum, called Quorum, which underpins the IIN, JPM Coin, and is one of the most popular enterprise blockchain protocols. JP Morgan open-sourced Quorum and earlier this year it was rumored that Quorum might merge with ConsenSys