Jamie Dimon infamously called bitcoin a fraud last Summer and even went as far as to say any JP Morgan employee caught trading bitcoin would be fired. It appears the banking behemoth has made a U-turn as it has recently released a report stating cryptocurrencies pose a threat to their banking services.
The company has been active in the blockchain ecosystem and appears to take the technology seriously. They joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance and is now building its own enterprise version of Ethereum – Quorum. In May 2017 JP Morgan partnered with Zerocoin Electric Coin Company (ZECC) – the company behind ZCash – to implement the cutting-edge privacy features to Quorum. Until April 2017 it was part of the R3 blockchain consortium, it left along with many other members citing its interest in exploring private enterprise blockchain solutions.
However, JP Morgan has largely remained on the edges of the new field and has kept an even wider berth from the more decentralised crypto-assets such as bitcoin. Time will tell if JP Morgan can develop its technology offering to not get ‘disintermediated’ by the looming cryptocurrency threat.