J.P. Morgan Chase, the top US banking group and financial services firm created and filled a new post of Head of crypto-assets strategy. Oliver Harris, 29 and from London, will fill the new role and he will report to the head of blockchain development, Umar Farooq. Harris will also lead Quorum, J.P. Morgan’s internal blockchain team.
Quorum began testing within J.P. Morgan Chase and National Bank of Canada not long back. Harris will also identify and lead new cryptocurrency projects for the bank, and will not actually trade in cryptocurrencies. The bank has experimented with blockchain technology to solve banking related inefficiencies over the last two years. He will investigate Crypto custody services and the use of blockchain technology in payments.
J.P. Morgan partnered with the team behind Zcash to improve privacy through blockchain technology. The bank is now considering a spinoff on this project. The new Head of Crypto assets will work closely with Christine Moy, program lead for J.P. Morgan’s Blockchain Centre of Excellence on the bank’s spinoff project.
Harris led J.P. Morgan’s Residence program for two years. The program identifies and partners with fintech start-ups.
Talking about the future of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, J.P Morgan’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking said –
“I have no doubt that in one way or another, the technology will play a role. If we need to clear futures of Bitcoin, can we do it? Yes. Have we done it? No.”
The co-president of J.P. Morgan, Daniel Pinto, recently said that the “tokenization” of the financial system is “real” with “many central banks looking into” it. While Pinto takes a positive stance with regard to cryptocurrencies, he also said that adopting the currencies is not possible in its “current form”.