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JPMorgan creates new unit for blockchain projects, says the technology is close to making money

  • JPMorgan Chase said its digital currency, JPM Coin, is being used commercially for the first time this week by a large technology client to send payments around the world.
  • That development, along with other behind-the-scene moves, persuaded JPMorgan to create a new business to house its blockchain and digital currency efforts called Onyx, said Takis Georgakopoulos, the bank’s global head of wholesale payments.
  • The unit has more than 100 dedicated staffers, he said.

After years of hype with little to show for it, blockchain technology is on the cusp of a breakthrough: making money in actual business applications.

At JPMorgan Chase, the firm’s digital currency JPM Coin is being used commercially for the first time this week by a large technology client to send payments around the world, said Takis Georgakopoulos, the bank’s global head of wholesale payments.

That development, along with other behind-the-scene moves, persuaded JPMorgan to create a new business to house its blockchain and digital currency efforts called Onyx, Georgakopoulos said last week in a phone interview. The unit has more than 100 dedicated staffers, he said.

“We are launching Onyx because we believe we are shifting to a period of commercialization of those technologies, moving from research and development to something that can become a real business,” Georgakopoulos said.