Less than two years ago, Jamie Dimon (above), CEO of JPMorgan Chase, called Bitcoin a “fraud.” Today his bank announced that it is planning iminent real-world tests of its own cryptocurrency, called “JPM Coin.”
Bank-issued Bitcoin? Far from it. The bank intends to use the new coin to settle payments between big institutions, and it will be redeemable 1:1 for US dollars, according to an FAQ post on the bank’s website. JPMorgan moves more than $6 trillion around the world for its clients each day. In trials scheduled to begin in a few months, it plans to handle a small fraction of those payments using a homegrown blockchain.
Permission, please: Another way it is different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which run on blockchain networks that are open to the public, is that JPM Coin will be issued on the bank’s own private blockchain, called Quorum. The computers that validate new transactions (in Bitcoin, the “miners”) must have permission to be part of the network. The bank says JPM Coin will be “subsequently extended to other platforms” and “will be operable on all standard blockchain networks.”
Don’t read that much into it (yet). What does it mean for the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology? Too early to tell. While potentially groundbreaking, it’s just a prototype and a scheduled trial. Let’s wait to see how it fares in the real world. (Also see: “Will people ditch cash for cryptocurrency? Japan is about to find out.”)
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.