Last week, J.P. Morgan had announced the expansion of its blockchain-based payment project called Interbank Information Network (IIN), the first live blockchain service offered by the firm. More than 75 banks have signed up to be part of IIN, the largest number of banks to join a live application of blockchain technology.
Among 75 banks that signed up for IIN, 21 are from Asia-Pacific region and India’s ICICI Bank Limited is one of them and only bank from India to have joined JPMorgan’s proprietary blockchain platform.
Earlier in 2016, ICICI Bank had successfully executed transaction in international trade finance and remittances by making use of blockchain technology in partnership with Emirates NBD, a famous Dubai based bank. Notably, it was India’s first banking transactions on blockchain.
Launched as a pilot in 2017, IIN is powered by Quorum, a permissioned (closed ecosystem) variant of the Ethereum blockchain, developed by J.P. Morgan. Quorum’s focus on privacy enables secure data sharing via IIN.
We saw tremendous interest among correspondent banks after the pilot launched in 2017, asking if they could join,” said Emma Loftus, Head of Global Payments and Receivables, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. “We believe IIN will significantly improve the efficiency of cross-border payments, particularly as more banks participate and we evolve the functionality and use cases beyond compliance-related inquiries.”
The expanded network of banks will facilitate global cross-border payments in every major market, including Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Quorum, which is an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum, is ideal for any application requiring high speed and high throughput processing of private transactions within a permissioned group of known participants.
With Quorum, IIN minimizes friction in the global payments process, enabling payments to reach beneficiaries faster and with fewer steps. Using blockchain technology, IIN reduces the time correspondent banks currently spend responding to compliance and other data-related inquiries that delay payments.
It competes with legacy platforms such as SWIFT and new startups like Ripple. Notably, SWIFT itself is testing its own blockchain-based solution and had successfully tested initial sandbox trials of blockchain-based proof of concept, in March this year.
Back in March, JP Morgan was considering making the Quorum platform a separate company, though retaining a stake in the venture, in order to drive its adoption to wider markets. It appears that this has yet to happen.