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- In a first for a major US bank, JPMorgan said on Thursday it would launch a cryptocurrency tied to the US dollar.
- The bank said the coin, called the "JPM Coin" is intended to "make instantaneous payments using blockchain technology."
- JPMorgan’s chief executive officer, Jamie Dimon, said in late 2017 that bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, was a "fraud." He later regretted the comments.
- CNBC first reported the bank’s announcement.
JPMorgan, the largest bank in the US, said on Thursday that it had created and successfully tested a cryptocurrency this month. It marked an unprecedented move for a major US bank.
The bank said its digital currency, called "JPM Coin," is based on blockchain technology and is intended to enable the "instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts." CNBC first reported the bank’s announcement on Thursday.
JPMorgan said each JPM Coin has a value equivalent to one US dollar; digital currencies tied to fiat currencies have come to be known as "stable coins."
"When one client sends money to another over the blockchain, JPM Coins are transferred and instantaneously redeemed for the equivalent amount of U.S. dollars, reducing the typical settlement time," Umar Farooq, the firm’s head of Digital Treasury Services and Blockchain, said in a release.
The bank said that over time, JPM Coin will be "extended to other major currencies." As for whether regulators support the coin, the bank said the cryptocurrency is "currently a prototype," and as it moves toward production the firm will "actively engage our regulators to explain its design and solicit their feedback and any necessary approvals."
Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO, said in late 2017 that bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, was a "fraud." Months later he said that he regretted the comments, but said he still wasn’t interested in bitcoin itself.
The bank included its official stance on cryptocurrencies in its Thursday release: "We have always believed in the potential of blockchain technology and we are supportive of cryptocurrencies as long as they are properly controlled and regulated."
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