JPMorgan Chase (JPM -0.05%) has divested from Quorum, the blockchain platform it developed, but will still indirectly hold a piece of the business. A privately held fintech company, ConsenSys, has purchased Quorum; it is now known as ConsenSys Quorum. As part of the deal, JPMorgan Chase is also investing strategically in ConsenSys.
The two companies revealed neither the terms nor the price of the deal. They also did not specify how large a stake JPMorgan Chase was obtaining in ConsenSys. However, in remarks quoted by Reuters, the latter company's CEO, Joseph Lubin, said that "there is a commercial arrangement [for ConsenSys] to continue to support JPMorgan in their projects."
A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger. Blockchain is best known as the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but it also has numerous other potential applications in fields as varied as real estate and logistics.
JPMorgan Chase developed Quorum to assist with financial transactions. These days, it powers the sprawling bank's global payment hub, the Interbank Information Network. JPMorgan Chase built Quorum with the Ethereum network, the open-source technology that is the basis of ether, a popular and relatively longstanding cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies were a hot item among investors in the mid-to-late 2010s. Since then, however, enthusiasm for them has died down for a number of reasons, not least because they still have few direct, real-world use cases.
JPMorgan Chase's stock did well on Thursday, rising 3.3% on the day against the 0.2% advance of the S&P 500 index.