JPMorgan’s Blockchain Products, Explained by Ex-JPM Tech Leads

JPMorgan Chase — whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, once notably expressed skepticism over cryptocurrency — was actually one of the first financial institutions to “learn to love the blockchain.” In 2015, the bank created a division dedicated to exploring emerging technology such as blockchain.

We were two of the first members of the JPMorgan blockchain team. We built some of its earliest blockchain technology and vetted other blockchain providers for the bank’s strategic investment and adoption. In this article, we’ll discuss the technology we developed during our time at the bank and our insights into the current suite of JPMorgan blockchain products, from Quorum to JPM Coin.

We worked on — and learned from — the challenges of adapting existing public blockchains for enterprise use, including what it takes to successfully lead financial institutions toward decentralized technology. We also discovered that the right place to drive blockchain forward was not from inside of a bank, as we couldn’t make the decisions we needed to in order to truly drive innovation. So, we left the JPMorgan team in 2016 to found Kadena, a hybrid blockchain platform company, and apply our knowledge to deliver on the promise of blockchain.

Juno: JPM Coin v.0

JPMorgan never set out to build a blockchain. The company’s brand centers around finance and banking, not software and technology. At the same time, JPMorgan also knew the importance of adopting valuable financial technology and strategically investing in future innovation. We formed JPMorgan’s new products division in 2015 to evaluate and advise the bank on potential technology vendors — from cloud to big-data solutions.

Six months in, blockchain rapidly became our primary focus. Using our experience as programmers and technical experts, we evaluated everything on the market at the time, from Ethereum to Digital Asset to Ripple to Hyperledger. It was clear back then that the blockchain options on the market were…

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