According to news agency Reuters, JP Morgan Chase & Co is in discussions to merge it’s own Quorum blockchain unit with Ethereum blockchain solutions company ConsenSys. Although no financial details of the potential merger were disclosed, Reuter’s sources believe the deal will be formally announced within the next 6 months.
The Quorum permissioned blockchain was designed by JP Morgan to combine public and private functions based on Ethereum to be used for the Interbank Information Network (IIN) – that involves more than 300 banks globally – as well as individual companies such as Microsoft.
It is suggested the merger would have no impact on either the IIN or the other projects currently running Quorum.
Two Years in Planning
While no mention is made of the reasons behind the decision, JP Morgan have reportedly been investigating offloading Quorum for around two years and have explored other avenues such as “…setting up an open-source foundation, creating a new startup or merging it with another company” with ConsenSys emerging as the preferred option for a business merger.
ConsenSys was launched in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin to develop decentralised software services and applications relating to Ethereum. The company expanded rapidly to become involved in multiple blockchain projects including the ErisX trading platform, partnerships as with the WWF, as participants in the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA), and involved in initial coin offerings (ICOs) such as Gnosis (GNO).
It is unclear at this stage if the 25 employees of JP Morgan’s Quorum program would move across to join the 800 staff currently employed by ConsenSys.
JP Morgan themselves announced a record breaking year in 2019 which saw CEO Jamie Dimon’s personal annual remuneration packet rise to $31.5 million despite the bank facing ongoing Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department in connection with precious metals price manipulation.