Bitcoin was staying firm above $8,000 as it was reported JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is considering spinning-off its blockchain project.
America’s largest bank is mulling over whether to divest itself of project Quorum in a bid increase the platform’s appeal, according to the Financial Times. JPMorgan Chase developed Quorum two years ago for making cross-border payments and clearing and settling derivatives.
Meanwhile Bitcoin, which is based on blockchain technology, was down 1.3% to $8,596.10 Friday, but off intraday lows of $8,296.33, according to Coindesk. It failed in an attempt to break above its 200-day moving average on Wednesday, but has managed avoid hitting its weekend lows below $8,000.
Ethereum fell 2.4%, Bitcoin Cash 1% and Ripple, also known as XRP, 4.1%.
Among Bitcoin-related stocks, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) fell 1.7% on the stock market today. Long Blockchain (LBCC) lost 4.8%, Overstock.com (OSTK) dipped 0.1%, Marathon Patent Group (MARA) tumbled 11.3% and Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) slid 2.6%.
JPMorgan insisted it is “excited” about the Quorum project in a statement, but refused to clarify its plans going forward. It is said to believe the platform is more likely to be widely adopted as an independent operation.
“We continue to believe distributed ledger technology will play a transformative role in business which is why we are actively building multiple blockchain solutions,” the bank said. “We’re not going to comment on speculation, but Quorum has become an extremely successful enterprise platform even beyond financial services and we’re excited about its potential.”
Banks have been working on developing blockchain technology as it is an unalterable digital ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. It is secured using cryptography.
IBD’S TAKE: It is crucial for investors to understand the difference between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the blockchain software programs that enable them. It is also important to get a feel for just how speculative digital moneys like Bitcoin are right now before investing directly in the currencies or through related exchange traded funds or stocks.
However new technologies developed by Wall Street firms often have trouble finding adoption outside of their use as an in-house application, however a spinoff could make this easier to achieve.
Meanwhile China is making the standardization of blockchain a priority for the coming year.
The communist country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has tasked its Information and Software bureau with seven major areas of focus for 2018, four of which will cover standardization initiatives that relate to the space.
According to a Friday announcement, the first priority is forming a committee dedicated to the development and roll out of a standardized framework for blockchain use in China.
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