JP Morgan’s Quorum Blockchain is being Acquired by ConsenSys
Mega-bank JP Morgan’s enterprise blockchain platform, Quorum, is being acquired by Brooklyn, New York-based ConsenSys, which is an Ethereum venture studio. Furthermore, an undisclosed strategic investment has also been made by JP Morgan in ConsenSys, according to the statement made by both companies. However, neither JP Morgan nor ConsenSys disclosed any information regarding the size of the investment the bank has made. The only confirmation that ConsenSys gave was that it is currently in the process of raising funds and JP Morgan will be joined by other additional investors.
As far as the integration of the acquisition in the Ethereum conglomerate is concerned, JP Morgan will be deemed a customer of ConsenSys from now on. They are providing software support and other services to projects that are operating on the Quorum. All enterprise work that’s handled by ConsenSys will not come under the ‘ConsenSys Quorum’ brand and the company is planning to merge Quorum with its existing protocol engineering roadmap, which will enable it to leverage the best of both the codebases. Daniel Heyman, ConsenSys engineering manager, said that since they were taking over the technology, they would be assisting JP Morgan in their blockchain efforts.
He added that this would give them the opportunity to leverage a lot of work done by JP Morgan internally and provide support to the ecosystem because others are also interested in using this technology. Quorum is essentially a privacy-centric fork of Ethereum and the number of projects deployed on it are on the rise. Thus, it has become rather obvious in the blockchain world that a bank is not exactly a suitable place for maintaining an open-source software project on a large scale. According to the initial rumors, Quorum had been heading to ConsenSys in February of this year.
Along with CEO Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan had received a significant amount of press for the ‘JP Coin’ project, which is basically tokenized cash available on the Quorum ledger. Some of the other high profile initiatives that have been taken by the bank include a debit issuance platform called Dromaius and the Interbank Information Network, in which 200 banks have a membership. Heyman said that now the ConsenSys Quorum would be used for building the JP Coin. While it belongs 100% to JP Morgan, they would be giving it support as a software vendor and help in making it a success, along with other projects.
Nonetheless, ConsenSys will not provide funding for some other projects on the Quorum, which include LVMH’s track-and-trace system called AURA or the tokenized loans that are being given by IHS Markit. But, these projects will get some other benefits. Heyman said that a proper software vendor will be provided to anyone who build their technology on the Quorum. He said that an explicitly maintained roadmap will be provided, along with a suite of functionality and features that can be bought. As far as the fate of Quorum engineers working with JP Morgan are concerned, Heyman said that they would indeed be making the trip to Brooklyn.