JPMorgan forms new blockchain unit, says its 'JPM Coin' is ready for commercial use

Banking giant JPMorgan has created a new blockchain unit called Onyx as its "JPM Coin" is ready for commercial use.

Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of wholesale payments at JPMorgan, told CNBC that a large international technology company is already using JPM Coin for cross-border payments. He did not disclose the company's name.

JPMorgan launched its blockchain-based token JPM Coin in February 2019. At the time, the bank said it would be used to settle cross-border payments in a faster and cheaper manner as redundancies are removed. Each JPM Coin is redeemable for one U.S. dollar or other fiat currencies.

Georgakopoulos said JPMorgan has launched the new Onyx unit because blockchain solutions "can become a real business" for the bank. Umar Farooq, previously the head of JPMorgan's blockchain projects, has now been named CEO of Onyx.

JPMorgan has also rebranded its blockchain-based network called Interbank Information Network to Liink. After the publication of this story, JPMorgan announced that Liink participants would also get access to two applications called "Confirm" and "Format."

"Confirm allows for the validation of account information prior to initiating a payment to reduce operating costs related to payment instruction errors and potentially help reduce fraud. Format enables payment instruction validation to check whether a payment message accurately conforms to key country and currency-specific information requirements," explained JPMorgan.

As part of its blockchain offerings, the bank is also reportedly looking to create new, separate payment rails for central banks that have shown interest in creating digital currencies. 

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