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The biggest bank in America by market cap, JP Morgan, is now officially entering into the crypto space after successfully registering a trademark on November 15 for cryptocurrency wallets, a 2 year wait since their application.
The announcement comes after trademark attorney, Mike Kondoudis tweeted that the JP Morgan wallet is officially a registered trademark for all cryptocurrency transfers and related services.
Tying it together with Project Onyx, the trademark really means that their JP Morgan wallet has now full reigns to facilitate financial transactions to retail or institutions given the nature of their trademarks. One thing to note here, the approved trademarks is predominantly in identity linked payments. Also given that they filed the patent 2 years ago, questions if the move to meet current customer demands of crypto currencies and metaverse operations was a reaction or in the plan of JP Morgan all along.
The most entertaining outcome is the most likely
So moving forward, wouldn’t the most entertaining outcome for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to at some point become the biggest evangelist for Web3? Given his prolific stance against Bitcoin since 2016, he has not taken his eye of at every chance to vilify Bitcoin as “worthless”. Most recently however, despite calling crypto tokens ‘Decentralised Ponzis’ at the Institute for International Finance (IIF) event, he noted blockchains to have “real” aspects in reference to the the JP Morgan Onyx platform.
Project Onyx, is a very real, very forward-thinking blockchain product aimed for institutions. They’ve been building for over 2 years now with a staff count north of 100. Just recently they successfully tested a DeFi project together with the Monetary Authority Singapore in Project Guardian a few weeks ago to offer trade financing assets linked to the JPM token (Onyx native token).
The use cases are far and wide for the JPM token, given that Onyx has aspirations to be a public and permissioned blockchain, turning the tech into essentially a new payment rails for their partners and customers. The tipping point in strategy given its spectacular patent foresight, is that they also have a 2 year lead in payments tech against competitors Visa that just only filed a patent for metaverse and NFT payments and purchases last month.
They’ve also beat out Cardano in technology advancements for blockchain solutions for privacy, given that hyped project ‘Midnight’ is just a public and permissioned blockchain with tech that has already been built on for over 2 years now.
Inside their investor relations and proxy statements for 2022, it was revealed that JP Morgan holds the largest active digital and mobile customer base among other American banks. They cite a growth from 6-11% for active customer acquisitions and reported that 50% of the 30 million bank accounts that were newly opened were done through a mobile phone. The growing demands for digital banking trends primes JPM to move into a digital direction.
In the staffing division, they’ve begun implementing dedicated trainings for their leadership positions to be versed in digital transformation and operating their acquisitions for metaverse related tech products. Ironically, one cannot leave out that it feels like a knee jerk reaction after having their top execs leaving the bank earlier in July to shape their competitor’s DeFi ecosystem in Algorand.
On the corporate and investment banking division, shareholders were briefed that its full steam ahead for the Onyx business unit to continue its progress into other Web3 investments and acquisitions. Mainly, these have been proof of concept projects with top corporate clients like Siemens and BlackRock for DeFi and acquisitions into cloud payment systems like Renovite Technologies.
Cybersecurity the last piece of the puzzle?
In the same statements, cybersecurity was looked at as an emerging risk point for the bank’s current improvements as it progresses towards adding more infrastructural technology to its acquisitions. However, what kind of emerging risks could potentially come out from the usage of a JPM backed stable coin?
A representative from a top cybersecurity blockchain solution that we spoke to, said that they are actively looking for banking clients to take on for their on-chain analytics products. The representative described the pain point of banks with crypto cards, citing that current payment rails do not allow bank to have full traceability for sources of funds. This would open up the bank to laundered funds exposure, given the existence of mixers in the market.
A stable coin living on a closed public and permissioned blockchain as payment rails solves this problem albeit it would not be very decentralised nor interoperable with current Layer 1 blockchains. For now, it remains as its own ecosystem for their own private and corporate clients.
We reached out to digital bank competitors and Mastercard representatives for a response on tracing funds from crypto cards and limitations with banks but received no response.