JPMorgan Sells Blockchain Platform Quorum to ConsenSys

Quorum will continue to power JPMorgan's global Interbank Information Network.

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Need to Know

  • ConsenSys has acquired JPMorgan’s blockchain platform and will rebrand it ConsenSys Quorum.
  • The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but sources say part of the exchange was a strategic investment by JPMorgan in ConsenSys.
  • JPMorgan will continue using Quorum’s blockchain tech to test its digital currency, JPM Coin.
  • Currently, Quorum powers JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network (IIN), which is used by nearly 400 banks worldwide.

Analysis

ConsenSys has acquired Quorum, the blockchain platform belonging to JPMorgan in a move that will solidify an ongoing relationship between the two companies.

In the deal, Quorum staff will remain at JPMorgan in order to help facilitate the transition over to ConsenSys over the next year. After that time, the team will work on other blockchain projects for JPMorgan, but the company has said that it will continue to use Quorum to test JPM Coin, its digital currency.

The financial terms of the deal, which was announced on Thursday, were not disclosed, but JPMorgan “has made a strategic investment” in ConsenSys, that company’s CEO and founder Joseph Lubin said of the deal. Lubin added that, while ConsenSys has acquired the Quorum IP, “there is a commercial arrangement to continue to support JPMorgan in their projects.”

Quorum, which was built by JPMorgan internally using the ethereum network, will also continue to be used by JPMorgan to power its Interbank Information Network (IIN), which is used by almost 400 banks in 78 countries. According to a release announcing the ConsenSys acquisition, JPMorgan has been considering offloading Quorum for up to two years, with Umar Farooq, global head of blockchain at JPMorgan, saying that the company believes the platform “could thrive better in the hands of a software and services-oriented organization”

Lex Sokolin, global fintech co-head at ConsenSys, said in an interview that putting Quorum in the hands of ConsenSys could result in the platform reaching a wider number of financial institutions: “It helps more folks come to the table if they can use the technology from a technology firm rather than from a competitor,” he said. “JPMorgan Chase is focusing on what’s valuable to them, which is more the financial application that runs on top of the protocol, rather than maintaining the protocol themselves.”

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