JPMorgan Considers Merging Blockchain Unit With ConsenSys

The blockchain world may soon be seeing a major merger with the traditional financial sector.

JPMorgan Chase, the United States’ largest bank, is reportedly considering merging its in-house blockchain unit Quorum with major Ethereum-focused firm ConsenSys.

According to a Reuters report on Feb. 11, unnamed persons familiar with the matter claim that the merger is likely to be officially announced within the next six months. The financial terms of the deal reportedly remain to be worked out.

Quorum is JPMorgan’s private blockchain platform built on the Ethereum protocol, and reportedly has roughly 25 employees deployed worldwide currently working on its development.

Quorum underlies JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network (IIN), which has been expanded to comprise a network of 320 banks sharing global payments data over the blockchain.

It is also planned as the basis for JPMorgan’s forthcoming settlement-focused digital currency, JPM Coin, first announced in mid-February of last year.

A prospective merger with Consensys would impact neither the course of the IIN or the JPM Coin, a source reportedly told Reuters.

For the past two years, the bank has reportedly mulled various options for Quorum, including establishing a dedicated open-source foundation, creating a new startup or pursuing a merger.

Consensys has purportedly been chosen as the most viable route given its close work with the Ethereum protocol.

Consensys last week revealed it was moving to cut its employee base down by roughly 14% as part of a restructuring that will separate the firm’s software development work from venture activities.

While JPM Coin is yet to be released, JPMorgan has recently been building out a public-private hybrid blockchain network called Kadena, which includes smart contract functionality.

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