Jamie Dimon has an established track record of skepticism about bitcoin. While the J.P. Morgan CEO has been outspoken about his opinion of the world’s first virtual currency, it hasn’t stopped him, or his company, from exploring ways to use the underlying blockchain technology to their advantage.
J.P. Morgan has been paving its own path into the cryptospace by adhering to a very specific vision of what blockchain technologies will become while trying to strike the right balance between clients who demand data privacy and regulators who require continuous access to financial transaction information. That vision is centered on the private blockchain offering called Quorum, which was first presented on September 22, 2016, to the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. Quorum is a permissioned blockchain derived from the Go implementation of the Ethereum opensource public chain, altered to require a permission to join.
On Monday, Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, the parent company behind Zcash, announced a partnership with J.P. Morgan. This partnership is meant to buttress the Quorum platform and enable functionalities beyond multiparty computations, which are currently performed by the private executable distributed code contracts already present in Quorum, and enable secure clearance of virtual assets across a distributed ledger.
Developers at Zcash are working to empower Quorum to facilitate trade in transferable, reusable tokens by utilizing functionalities based on a cryptographic method called zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP). ZKPs retain the secure and transparent advantages of blockchains while allowing parties that are interested in keeping their data private and aligned an avenue for using distributed ledger technology. Suresh Shetty, an executive director and architecture lead at J.P. Morgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, said in a press release Monday:
“By adding the zero-knowledge security layer into Quorum, we are able to explore how state of the art cryptography privacy technology will enhance the next generation of financial services applications.”
Zooko Wilcox, a former cypherpunk turned founder and CEO of Zcash told ETHNews:
“J.P. Morgan is the most valuable bank in the world, according to stock market traders who buy and sell shares of companies, so them agreeing with us to use our technology in their enterprise blockchain is a really good validation of the technology and of our team it's also a really good validation of the importance of privacy for enterprise.”
At the time of this publication, Zcash is currently the 12th most valuable virtual currency.