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JP Morgan to Add Privacy Feature on Its Native Blockchain

Wall Street giant JP Morgan has developed a privacy-oriented feature for blockchain transactions, which it will likely add to its native blockchain Quorum, a May 28 Coindesk report revealed.

The feature was added to the Zether protocol and is designed to be added on any Ethereum-based blockchain, public or private. The report also detailed that the bank is going to release the new extension with an open source license.

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Developed by a group of academics and fintech researchers, Zether is a payment mechanism compatible with any smart contract platform, adding a layer of anonymity to digital currency transactions.

The bank’s version of the protocol will not only conceal the amount involved in the transaction but also the identity of the sender.

“In the basic Zether, the account balances and the transfer amounts are concealed but the participants’ identities are not necessarily concealed. So we have solved that,” Oli Harris, head of Quorum and crypto assets strategy, told Coindesk. “In our implementation, we provide a proof protocol for the anonymous extension in which the sender may hide herself and the transactions recipients in a larger group of parties.”

JP Morgan’s blockchain ambitions

JP Morgan is one of the companies with massive investments in blockchain-based innovations. The bank is already working on its native Ethereum-based private blockchain – Quorum – and is also gearing up to introduce its native digital currency.

The addition of human resources to its blockchain division also projects the bank’s ambitions in the blockchain sector – JP Morgan has been the largest blockchain employer in the financial services sector over the past 12 months.

The bank is also planning to enter the blockchain payments industry and has partnered with more than 200 banks to share financial data on a distributed ledger.

“There is not an impact on performance; it’s more just an additional functionality that would build in. Of course, we are still very early days in terms of doing any detailed testing around performance and scalability in production networks,” Harris added, mentioning the impact of the new feature on the existing protocol.


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