The pace of disruption is accelerating in the crypto universe.
Some of the largest and most powerful businesses in the world are beginning to adopt blockchain technology. And those that don't are likely to be left behind.
The Motley Fool would like to help you stay abreast of these game-changing developments. To that end, here's some news that caught our attention in recent days.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is seeing notable interest from its customers for its new JPM Coin cryptocurrency, according to Bloomberg. The largest U.S. bank by assets says its clients are eager to see whether the digital token can help to shorten the time it takes to finalize bond trades.
JPM Coin is a stablecoin -- a digital token whose value is backed by real assets such as fiat currencies. The coin's price is pegged to the U.S. dollar, and it can be redeemed for cash from JPMorgan Chase. JPM Coin currently operates on the Quorum Blockchain, a private version of Ethereum.
Management at JPMorgan Chase says that JPM Coin could allow for the "instant" delivery of bonds via its blockchain platform. Currently, bond transactions typically take several days to settle.
The bank holding company intends to begin testing JPM Coin toward the end of 2019, if regulators approve the trials.
Umar Farooq, head of digital treasury services and blockchain at JPMorgan Chase, sees the project as part of a far larger trend toward the tokenization of financial assets. "We believe that a lot of securities over time, in five to 20 years, will increasingly become digital or get tokenized," Farooq said.
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) wants to help businesses of all sizes build and operate blockchain networks. The tech titan recently introduced a new version of its IBM Blockchain Platform that's designed to make it easier for companies to experiment with its tools and services.
The IBM Blockchain Platform can now be deployed to public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure, as well as on-premise private clouds. The upgraded platform also offers enhanced capabilities designed to make smart contract development and network management easier.
Perhaps most importantly, this new version of the IBM Blockchain Platform gives users the flexibility to pay for only the blockchain components they need, when they need them. IBM says its new pricing model will allow users to "start small and pay as you grow." It's a tiered pricing structure that's been proven effective by other software-as-a-service providers such as Shopify and salesforce.com, particularly in regard to appealing to small- and medium-sized businesses.
And by catering to businesses both large and small, IBM is increasing the size of its addressable market, while also helping to boost blockchain usage among a greater number of companies. "Through our partnerships, solutions, and services, we continue to lay the groundwork for widespread adoption of enterprise blockchain," said Jerry Cuomo, IBM's vice president of blockchain technologies.
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