Could JPMorgan’s Cryptocurrency Be Used by Consumers?
Earlier this month, JPMorgan became the first major bank in the United States to launch its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin. This digital currency allows the bank to make instant money transfers over a blockchain (a set of records detailing cryptocurrency transactions). This most often occurs for international transfers and securities transactions.
Jamie Dimon, CEO for JPMorgan, said in an interview, “JPMorgan Coin could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.”
Does this mean that JPMorgan could have its own consumer cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin?
Dimon was most likely speaking on the broad applications this technology could have, rather than plans the bank is actively putting in place. On JPMorgan’s website, it says the cryptocurrency is “exclusively for institutional customers (e.g., banks, broker dealers, corporates).” The bank also says, “JPM Coin is currently designed for business-to-business money movement flows, and because we are still in a testing phase, we don’t have plans to make this available to individuals at this stage.”
JPM Coin is structured differently than other digital currencies, such as Ether, Tether, USDC and Bitcoin. These currencies are mostly used for investment purposes. Their value changes over time, much like stock. JPM Coin has a 1:1 value. One JPM Coin is worth $1 US dollar.
In its present state, JPM Coin is a means to an end. It allows the bank to use blockchain technology in a way that abides by banking laws and regulations. It is backed by the bank’s collateral, and has a specified value. While the technology could be altered for a consumer application, the bank indicates no desire for that at this time.