It looks like JPMorgan’s interest in the crypto space is increasing with every passing day. The company, first of all, entered the space by launching its own coin, and now it turns out that they are also getting interested in providing privacy features for other blockchains! The company has just added privacy-focused features to Quorum, its homegrown version of Ethereum. The feature will allow people to obscure not only their identity but also how much money are they sending.
The functionality of this new feature was revealed to Coindesk by JPM’s head of Quorum and crypto assets strategy Oli Harris. He revealed that the function is basically an extension of Zether protocol, which is a fully-decentralized cryptographic protocol developed for confidential payments. The protocol is developed to work with existing blockchain platforms like Ethereum and EOS, and it adds a new layer of anonymity to every transaction. And interestingly, the extension has been open-sourced by JPM, which means that it’s also available for others to use for increasing the privacy of their Ethereum transactions.
Explaining the functionality of extension Oli told Coindesk:
“In the basic Zether, the account balances and the transfer accounts are concealed but the participants’ identities are not. So we have solved that. 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.”
JPMorgan’s crypto team has had a busy week. The firm has attracted as many as 220 banks to its Quorum-based Interbank information network, and it also completed a lot of integration with Microsoft Azure to roll out Quorum for other enterprises as an open-source protocol. Speaking further about how Quorum can be beneficial to others Harris told Coindesk:
“When we think about the community building on top of Quorum. If anyone is looking to get an efficient trustless mechanism for trustless and anonymous payments in a consortium then that’s when it’s relevant. That’s why we wanted to open-source it back to the community so anyone can build on it further and continue enhancing it and potentially put it into their use cases as needed. When we look at our own JPMorgan applications [the extended version of Zether] will be one choice of many that we will be looking at.”
Now it will be interesting to see how hardcore decentralization lovers react to this new launch of JPMorgan. Many of them have not liked the idea of company’s proprietary cryptocurrency JPM Coin itself, and now they’re getting this new privacy tool from the company packaged in an open-source avatar. Let’s see how they react!