JP Morgan plans to merge its Quorum blockchain with Ethereum's Consensys

Here we look at why JPMorgan is planning to merge their private blockchain Quorum with Consensys. Are private blockchains currently pointless?

JP Morgan plans to merge its Quorum blockchain with Ethereum's Consensys

If you can't beat them, join them.

In an exclusive report, Reuters notified its readers that JP Morgan, one of the largest investment banks on Earth, is looking to pull out of the private blockchain game and sell off its assets to Consensys, most likely for pennies on the dollar.

Exclusive: JPMorgan in talks to merge blockchain unit Quorum with startup ConsenSys - sources
JPMorgan Chase & Co is in talks to merge its marquee blockchain unit Quorum with Brooklyn-based startup ConsenSys, according to people familiar with the plans.

The thing is, private blockchains make very little sense at this point in time. Whether it is a stablecoin that you crave, or an immutable ledger of transactions with timestamps, public blockchains provide you with security and auditability at a fraction of the cost - the whole ecosystem ends up subsidising the quite massive infrastructure and cybersecurity requirements.

We have previously covered Quorum on our blog. Since then, some additional rewrites and new capabilities were planned, but once the bank's management has found out how much it costs to develop the tech they need, and saw that public blockchains are already starting to deliver this tech, they decided to pull out of the game, with Consensys to get IT support contracts for all existing users of this experimental technology.

How does J.P. Morgan’s Quorum differ from Ethereum
Big banks are fascinated by blockchain technology. J.P. Morgan Chase partnered with Ethereum Enterprise Alliance to develop Quorum - a private blockchain that will be the bank’s new brain.

Meanwhile, companies like Ernst&Young, a leader in audit and consulting, are already building cutting edge tech that utilizes public Ethereum blockchain for zkSNARK verification and fast settlement. These novel techniques allow corporations to conduct their business in privacy, while using public infrastructure to efficiently support this use case.

Ernst & Young’s Nightfall: A private-public blockchain
Ernest & Young’s Nightfall blockchain is attempting to combine public and private features to create a truly hybrid blockchain solution. The latest blockchain service deployed by EY integrates private-public functionalities in order to maximise its utility for corporations and institutional players

Nightfall integrates a set of smart contracts and micro-services as well as a ZK-snarks toolkit to enable ERC-20, ERC-223, and ERC-721 tokens to be transacted on the Ethereum blockchain with complete privacy. And with the latest upgrades to Tomochain, Tron, and Ethereum Classic's Agharta hard fork, all these businesses will be able to pick a public EVM blockchain of their choice without having to change much, if any, code.

Ethereum Classic successfully implements Agharta protocol upgrade
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The public blockchain competition is on, and may the odds be ever in favor of the coin that you support.

Has JPM Coin been cancelled?

JP Morgan has previously announced plans to release JPM Coin, a stablechain much like xDAI to be used for interbank instant settlement which would hopefully bring realtime bank transfers to US consumers. So far there has been no announcement of the bank cancelling its plans on this project.

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What is xDAI? How do I use xDAI? Learn about an ETH compatible blockchain for every day transactions such as micropayments or lending. Now with Saturn Wallet support!

We would assume that JPM Coin is still going ahead as planned, as JPMorgan has also been developing a private/public hybrid blockchain network called Kadena (which does support smart contracts).


With the innovation of zkSNARK verification, the use case arguments for developing a private blockchain for internal business usage are falling silent. Public EVM based blockchains, such as Ethereum, are fast becoming known to be battle-hardened and tested platforms that offer companies of all sizes competitive environments to work on, with robust security auditing already thriving.

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JPMorgan's removal from the private blockchain sector to focus on their Kadena network, is pretty much the only confirmation we need that competition between public blockchains is going to very heated, very soon.

Happy reading!

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