JPMorgan Chase is seeking to patent a system for using distributed ledgers as a way to facilitate and reconcile financial transactions, newly-released filings show. In a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday (which was originally submitted last October), JPMorgan outlined a system that uses distributed ledgers to record payments being sent from one bank to another using a peer-to-peer network. According to the bank, the tech’s use would provide “a unique system for recording transactions and storing data.”
In the application, J.P. Morgan notes that cross-border payments require “a number of messages” that must be sent between the bank and clearing houses involved in the transaction. This often results in delays and a restricted availability to the funds. Rather, the transaction on the blockchain would eliminate high costs, provide a system for accurately logging the transactions, and process payments in real time with a verifiably true audit trail.
Blockchain capabilities have allowed us to rethink how critical information can be sourced and exchanged between global banks.
– Emma Loftus, Head of Global Payments, JP Morgan.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that JPMorgan would seek a patent for its blockchain-related work in the area of interbank payments. The bank launched a platform for just that kind of service, built on Ethereum-offshoot Quorum, days before it filed the patent application. The bank is also one of 86 corporate firms to play a role in forming The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an open-source blockchain initiative. The idea of the EEA is for big banks and tech companies to come together and build business-ready versions of the software behind Ethereum.