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JPMorgan Creates Digital Coin for Payments

February 14, 2019

by Howard Haykin


The Internet is buzzing with news reports and commentary following JPMorgan's announcement that it's launching its own cryptocurrency. The "JPM Coin" is a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. 


"J.P. Morgan this month became the first U.S. bank to create and successfully test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain-based technology enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts. We sat down with Umar Farooq, head of Digital Treasury Services and Blockchain, to find out more about the announcement and what it means for the future of payments."



A sampling of the news reports:


According to the bank, the coin is still in the prototype phase but will be rolled out to some institutional clients in a pilot program later this year. “JPM Coin is currently designed for business-to-business money movement flows, and because we are still in a testing phase, we don’t have plans to make this available to individuals at this stage. That said, the cost-savings and efficiency benefits would extend to the end customers of our institutional clients,” the bank said in a news release.


Engineers at JPMorgan have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. While the bank processes more than $6 trillion in payments each day, only a tiny fraction of that amount will be involved when JPMorgan begins trial use later this year. Though JPM’s Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," he and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise.


JPMorgan said it developed a prototype digital coin that it plans to use to speed up payments between corporate customers, according to a statement Thursday. The token, dubbed JPM Coin, is based on blockchain technology, a decentralized public ledger of transactions that offers more speed because it doesn’t rely on a central record keeper. The bank says test was a success in moving money from client to bank.


The new digital currency will be redeemable for one U.S. dollar each, CNBC reported, and will be used to develop the bank's payments business over blockchain technology. Once the issued coins are spent through the payment system, they will be destroyed and redeemed for the same value as they were purchased, according to CNBC.


JPMorgan Chase will be the first major U.S. bank to create its own cryptocurrency. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of the $6 trillion the bank lends to corporations will happen over something called ‘JPM Coin.’ The digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. CNBC banking reporter Hugh Son breaks it down.