Today CNBC reported that JP Morgan’s digital currency JPM Coin is being used commercially by a large technology company for cross-border payments. The initiative was first announced on Valentine’s day last year and has also been used during the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) trials of central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
The bank has created a new business, Onyx, as an umbrella for its blockchain and digital currency initiatives.
Takis Georgakopoulos, JP Morgan’s global head of wholesale payments, told CNBC that it set up Onyx because “we believe we are shifting to a period of commercialization of those technologies, moving from research and development to something that can become a real business.”
The CEO of Onyx, which has 100 employees, is Umar Farooq, who has headed up JP Morgan’s blockchain projects to date. The website for the new organization states it houses work on five already published projects. The IIN payment messaging system has been rebranded to Liink. In addition to JPM Coin and Liink, Onyx is the umbrella for the CBDC work with MAS, blockchain debt issuance trial Dromaius, and Quorum, the blockchain protocol recently transferred to ConsenSys. The bank has been involved in numerous other projects where it was not the lead.
JPMorgan is focused on relieving pain points in the world of wholesale payments, specifically areas where the industry could save hundreds of millions of dollars with a better solution, said Georgakopoulos.
In cross-border payments, for instance, which relies on a complex global web of correspondent banks, payments sometimes get rejected for errors in account information or other problems. JPMorgan is one of the biggest players in this industry, moving more than $6 trillion a day across more than 100 countries.
If banks could confirm that payments have the proper account information and regulatory format before they are sent, they could prevent expensive rejections.
Essential to that effort is a network with more than 400 participating banks and corporations. The group, which had been called the Interbank Information Network since a 2017 JPMorgan pilot, is being rebranded as Liink and being launched with a pair of functions that validate payments before they are sent.