JPMorgan moves into deposit tokens for settlements: Report

JPMorgan is reportedly developing the infrastructure to run a new deposit token, allowing settlements between banks for corporate clients.

Financial giant JPMorgan is making another move into the crypto space with a new blockchain-based solution for cross-border transactions, reveals a report by Bloomberg. The system, however, won’t be available until the bank receives the green light from regulators in the United States. 

JPMorgan has reportedly developed most of the infrastructure to run the new deposit token, which will be first launched for corporate clients to speed up payments and settlements. Deposit tokens are issued on a blockchain by a depository institution to represent a deposit position. The solution contrasts with stablecoins, which are usually issued by a non-bank private entity.

The product is also different from its JPM Coin, which already allows corporate clients to transfer dollars and euros across the financial institution. The new deposit token, meanwhile, will allow transactions to other banks and is suitable for different forms of settlements on a blockchain, including trades of tokenized securities.

The deposit token, however, shares similarities with the JPM Coin in terms of compliance, since its transactions would go through know-your-customer and anti-fraud processes. Last year, the new token was piloted in a single transaction as part of the Project Guardian, a collaborative cross-industry effort pioneered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) of Singapore.

Related: PayPal’s PYUSD struggles with early adoption — Nansen

“Deposit tokens bring plenty of potential benefits, but we also appreciate that regulators would want to be thoughtful and diligent before any new product gets developed and used,” a JPMorgan spokesperson told Bloomberg in a statement, adding that “should that appetite develop, our blockchain infrastructure would be able to support the launch of deposit tokens relatively quickly.” As per the report, JPMorgan moves $10 trillion in transactions overall on a daily basis.

The bank has voiced its support for deposit tokens before. In February, JPMorgan noted that deposit tokens may offer more stability and reliability compared to similar solutions, such as stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

JPMorgan’s deposit token initiative not only expands its blockchain-based solutions, but also adds more competition for stablecoin issuers. Another big player who recently joined the race for faster settlements powered by crypto tokens was PayPal. The fintech firm launched its stablecoin (PYUSD) in early August, prompting traditional competitors in the U.S. market, such as Circle, to expand the reach of its stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) to six new blockchains in an effort to boost adoption.

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