JPMorgan Chase & Co. is considering spinning off Quorum, its blockchain project, to improve the platform’s appeal as an independent entity, according to Reuters. The open source platform’s code is free and can be redistributed and modified.
The plans, first reported by the Financial Times, are still in the early stages, according to a source.
The bank released a statement saying it still believes distributed ledger technology will play a transformative business role and that it continues to build multiple blockchain solutions. The statement also noted that Quorum has become an “extremely successful” enterprise platform even beyond financial services.
JPMorgan’s Quorum, built in partnership with EthLab, was co-founded in 2016 by Jeffrey Wilcke, an Ethereum core developer, as “a minimalistic fork of the Go Ethereum client” and a “derivative of Go Ethereum.” It allows for hundreds of transactions per second, and increased privacy as smart contracts can be validated by only parties to the contract.
One source said it is uncertain what impact the spinoff would have on JPMorgan employees working on Quorum.
Amber Baldet, an executive director for JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, who has been leading Quroum’s product development, could join the spinoff or stay at the bank the source said.
Baldet did not respond to a request to comment.
Banks have spent millions on blockchain technology, hoping it will reduce costs and simplify some processes, such as thee settlement of security trades and global payments.
The technology is still in its formative period, however, and many projects have faced growing pains.
JPMorgan was part of the R3 blockchain consortium, but left the consortium last year, along with other banks involved in the project.
JP Morgan was also the lead investor in possible R3-competitor Digital Asset, in a $50 million-plus funding rouind in early 2016. The banking giant is also a member in the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project.
Quorum was originally established on the Ethereum network, which served as a significant Ethereum endorsement.
JPMorgan said it would use Quorum for interbank payments in conjunction with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
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