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Did JP Morgan Just Make a Secret Side Bet on Bitcoin?

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:36 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:36 PM
  • JP Morgan might not believe Bitcoin is the future of finance, but the banking giant could be hedging its bets.
  • The bank is quietly seeking to hire a Bitcoin scaling expert.
  • JP Morgan denies it will engage with public cryptocurrencies in any manner.

By CCN.com: According to reporting by Frank Chaparro for The Block, JP Morgan is looking to hire someone with general Bitcoin scaling technology knowledge, though they’re explicitly not looking to build on Bitcoin.

More ‘Blockchain, Not Bitcoin’ or a Hush-Hush Crypto Hedge?

Chaparro heard from a JP Morgan representative who pointed out that just because they wanted someone with deep Bitcoin-centric expertise, it didn’t mean they were looking deeper into Bitcoin. The knowledge would be helpful in their other blockchain pursuits, for example.

The representative was clear :

“It would be completely inaccurate to say or report that we are possibly exploring or considering doing any work with bitcoin or other public crypto currencies. We are not.”

For all the buzz, the number of qualified blockchain engineers is relatively small.

The best, of course, do protocol work.

Proficient coders learn the ins and outs of blockchain, and when interest in the cryptocurrency space picks back up, jobs abound. This will be the case when the market returns in full force for cryptocurrency. Right now, perhaps, it’s not so much.

There are still plenty of blockchain jobs going up all the time, but a lot of the most talented developers haven’t leaped yet.

Traditional companies in every sector will be hiring blockchain experts. Expertise in the space will gain value as interest returns. If the market continues a massive boom and bust cycle, then interest and job opportunities will likely do the same.

How Mass Adoption Sticks

jp morgan (NYSE:JPM)
Many argue that JP Morgan’s pseudo-cryptocurrency could spur real public blockchain adoption.| Source: Shutterstock

It’s manifestly more important what commitments companies make during these times, and what promises they keep. Companies that are merely dipping toes into the water but not making a real investment will, over time, be outpaced by companies who make a commitment and mean it.

JP Morgan has more hands in the blockchain space than most banks. As America’s largest bank, it reportedly moves $6 trillion per day. Instead of utilizing Ripple or any other outside project, JP Morgan created its version of a stablecoin or IOU token on its own private blockchain.

For some, the real value of the technology lies in its ability to settle a transaction very quickly and reliably. For banks, this can be immeasurably helpful. Rather than wait for the currency to move around the planet over traditional markets, banks can liquidate cryptocurrencies with ease and use them to transfer large sums.

Many dream that such institutions will necessarily prefer something like Ripple, but there’s no reason to expect this will exactly be the case. If a default bank coin solution eventually emerges, it will come after a time when there are many options.

Right now, a group of banks is about to release its own blockchain-based service. Banks all over the world are looking into blockchain and its impact on their finance models.

So, though it may make sense for banks to use something like Ripple, we can’t expect that until we’ve got more evidence to back those speculations up. In the meantime, a wide range of solutions is likely to emerge.