JPMorgan Chase & Co. is turning to crypto to modernize one of its most central businesses.
The biggest U.S. bank 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.
“Many of our clients move money in different ways and they’re looking for a more real-time way to move value around,” Umar Farooq, head of digital treasury services and blockchain, said in an interview.
JPMorgan moves more than $5 trillion in wholesale payments each day, so even a nascent experiment from the banking giant is poised to make waves in the cryptocurrency world. While some experts questioned the broader impact of a dollar-pegged coin available only to JPMorgan clients, others said the bank’s involvement lends legitimacy to an area that’s been rocked by volatility and scandal.
The bank started developing JPM Coin about a year ago in response to client demand and plans to start testing out possible uses with a small number of its institutional customers in the coming months, Farooq said. He declined to name the interested companies.