JPMorgan Assigns The Project to 29-Year-Old to Lead Internal Crypto Projects

It was revealed today that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has assigned 29-year-old Oliver Harris, the head of the firm’s in-house fintech program, to a new role dedicated to investigating potential usages of cryptocurrencies across its corporate and investment banking initiatives. In the initial report by Financial News London, which cited insiders close to the matter, Harris will also be heading up the Quorum project, an internal blockchain platform rumored to be preparing for a spinoff.

Harris will likely look to fill the shoes of Amber Baldet, a former executive who led the bank’s blockchain team before leaving to start her own, unidentified blockchain-related business earlier this year. The report indicates that Harris will investigate potential crypto custody and payment services.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, a well-known critic of cryptocurrencies, is on record last year calling Bitcoin a fraud that’s “worse than tulip bulbs.” However, Dimon’s criticism has softened as of late, stating that he is now open-minded to the idea of crypto in an interview in December.

 Earlier this week, the bank’s co-president Daniel Pinto gave an interview with CNBC in which he seemed optimistic about crypto. He stated that JPMorgan is looking into bitcoin futures and trading digital currencies. Though he criticized the private, anonymous nature of crypto, he conceded that tokenization of the economy is a real prospect. It seems JPMorgan is considering following the footsteps of Goldman Sachs (GS) to create a market for institutional clients.
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