Microsoft will promote JPMorgan Chase’s Quorum blockchain to the global tech giant’s business customers, the companies announced Thursday. The Redmond, Washington-based software firm will support Quorum, JPM’s private enterprise version of ethereum, through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, the firms said. They will look to support adoption of the network through their new partnership, after signing a memorandum of understanding. As a result, Quorum “will become the first distributed ledger platform available through [the] Azure Blockchain Service, enabling J.P. Morgan and Microsoft customers to build and scale blockchain networks in the cloud,” the companies said in a press release.
A spokesperson for New York-based JPM said via email that “Microsoft will drive preference to the Quorum stack for Blockchain applications built on Azure.” JPM will also build its own first-party applications for the service. Umar Farooq, JPM’s global head of blockchain, said in a statement that Quorum has been successful over the four years it has been operational, with organizations worldwide using the technology. Now, “Azure will bring unique strengths to enterprise clients using Quorum,” he said.
JPMCoin and the Xbox
Quorum will be used to support both JPM and Microsoft’s blockchain programs, as well as the bank’s Interbank Information Network, its internal cryptocurrency JPMCoin and royalty payment points for the Xbox gaming platform. Through the partnership, both firms will try to address enterprise, developer and vendor needs for building on blockchain applications using Azure’s cloud servers. Microsoft will also provide support for the network’s users, including engineering support. The move will make Quorum more easily available to customers through the Azure platform, said Microsoft executive vice president of business development Peggy Johnson in a statement. She added:
“As digital transformation extends beyond the walls of an individual organization, companies need solutions that enable them to securely share their business processes and data.”
Thursday’s move raise the question of whether the bank will still spin Quorum off into its own self-funded entity. Rumors first emerged in March 2018 that JPM would let Quorum launch as an independent platform, largely due to its own success. JPMorgan is “still exploring options” for a possible spinoff, sources familiar with the bank’s thinking said Thursday.