After years of criticising Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Jamie Dimon has suddenly changed his tune and JP Morgan has announced its own version of a “cryptocurrency” known as JPM Coin. The news comes as quite a shock to many who have for years heard Jamie Dimon, the head honcho of JP Morgan, consistently voice his opinion on why cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are doomed to failure.
What is perhaps even more shocking is that this news united the economist Nouriel Roubini, one of Bitcoin’s biggest sceptics, with the cryptocurrency community as a whole with his harsh opinion on the announcement.
In which way has the new alleged JPMorgan crypto coin anything to do with blockchain/crypto? It is private not public, permissioned not permissionless, based on trusted authorities verifying transaction not trustless, centralized not decentralized. Calling it crypto is a joke
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) February 14, 2019
Whilst JPM Coin is distinctly different from both a technological and philosophical standpoint to Bitcoin, Ripple and its asset XRP might be more worried. XRP aims to be the go-to asset used for international payments between banks. One of the many criticisms of XRP was why would banks use XRP when they can just create their own asset token that they control themselves?
This is precisely what has happened here. Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, appears unfazed, as do the legions within the #XRParmy. Despite still being a “Top 3” cryptocurrency by market cap, there has been relatively little excitement from outside the XRP community, with new partnerships appearing to dry up and old ones not providing much enthusiasm.
Whilst JPM Coin is being panned by those within and outside the cryptocurrency community, the fear for XRP and Ripple is real. Suddenly a competitor has arisen to their token (most other cryptocurrencies are irrelevant to what Ripple and XRP are attempting to achieve). That competitor happens to be one of the largest financial institutions in the world with a wide web of connections to other banks and regulators.
For Ripple and XRP, the real test is now. The #XRParmy faces a battle of the greatest magnitude.