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JP Morgan building private version of blockchain platform

JP Morgan Chase is building its own version of an established blockchain network called Ethereum, with a view to using it for confidential transactions. 05 Oct 2016

Blockchain distributed ledger technology is best known for underpinning trading involving the digital currency bitcoin, but it has many other potential uses. Broadly it is a shared digital ledger for recording information, such as the transfer of assets between two or more parties.

JP Morgan's project, called Quorum, will allow it to control who has access to transactions on the Ethereum network. Quorum is being built in partnership with EthLab, an Ethereum developer, and that will be updated alongside future Ethereum releases. JP Morgan said.

Quorum will offer the "best of both worlds", with each node of the network validating transactions while only exposing the details of those transactions to parties with permission, it said in a presentation in Geneva that was reported on by Coindesk.

The bank will share the code for Quorum system with outside developers, something the bank has recently started doing to attract quality engineers to work with it, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We have people building the most stress-tested financial systems in the world," Amber Baldet, program lead on Quorum and other blockchain projects told the Wall Street Journal. "Bringing that enterprise expertise [to blockchain] is one of our strengths."

Financial services technology expert Yvonne Dunn of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "This is an interesting example of blockchain’s rapid maturity. Having reached public consciousness in the context of bitcoin, it is now evolving into a much broader tool with many interesting applications. The financial services sector in particular is embracing the potential opportunities that blockchain represents."

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