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JPMorgan’s Blockchain Chief Amber Baldet Steps Down for Her Own Project

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by Sofiko Abeslamidze · 3 min read
JPMorgan’s Blockchain Chief Amber Baldet Steps Down for Her Own Project
Photo: Amber Baldet / Twitter

Amber Baldet, a JPMorgan Chase executive who leads the bank’s blockchain team, is leaving the company to start a business of her own.

As soon as the episode with infamously blamed  “Bitcoin bible”  was covered in dust, JPMorgan has hastened to join a slew of financial giants exploring the business potential for blockchains, the robust technology behind cryptocurrencies. Like many corporations, JPMorgan stands to gain if the technology can help it execute transactions in quicker, cheaper, and even more secure way.

Amber Baldet was responsible for the development of JPMorgan’s blockchain business keeping trace of the latest novelties within blockchain industry. She had been heading up bank’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, where Baldet was in charge of the product direction for Quorum, JPMorgan’s business-oriented database technology that runs on shared ledgers for record keeping.

According to the official statement of a JPMorgan spokesperson, Baldet is leaving for an “entrepreneurial opportunity” to launch her own firm. However, the field of Baldet’s further business activity is questioned and whether it will be blockchain related remains unclear.

Commenting on the Baldet’s departure the spokesperson also added that JPMorgan respects Baldet’s initiative to start her own venture and describes Amber as extremely talented professional that largely contributed to the development of the outstanding blockchain team.

Nevertheless, no one is irreplaceable and JPMorgan did not waste any time in announcing Baldet’s successor. An internal JPMorgan memo says that fellow Blockchain Center of Excellence official and senior product manager, Christine Moy will replace her at the helm of the blockchain group. Notably that Moy was Baldet’s first hire to the blockchain team where she has been assigned to coordinate a blockchain product development across the Investor Services and Capital Markets businesses.

One can assume that in the wake of Balder’s resignation, JPMorgan will fail to keep up steady pace and is going to freeze the blockchain-based projects for some recover period. But surprisingly, it has recently showcased enthusiastic diligence to finally spin off Quorum and improve the platform’s appeal as an independent entity.

As Quorum was originally established on the Ethereum network, JPMorgan considers it the “enterprise-focused version of Ethereum” that is utilized for the clearing and settling of interbank payments. Unlike the public ledger that fuels bitcoin, Quorum is a private ledger that streamlines transactions and its validation is dependent on a permissioned group of known participants instead of random volunteers. The open source platform’s code is free and can be redistributed and modified while encouraging experimentation.

Since it only minimally modifies Ethereum’s core, Quorum is designed to develop and evolve alongside Ethereum thereby Quorum is able to incorporate the majority of Ethereum updates quickly and seamlessly. But that also means that along with the advantages of Ethereum, Quorum has also inherited disadvantages of the second biggest blockchain network. And this represents both the main reason for concerns of users and the weak point for competitors’ judgment on the technology.

Quorum has been in development for the past couple of years, and spinning it off would create more possibilities for the technology, even beyond banking. Therefore, there is only hope that the recent shift on the BCOE team was for good and the JPMorgan’s blockchain business will continue to build strong blockchain solutions.

Blockchain News, News
Sofiko Abeslamidze

Sofiko is a freelance fintech copywriter at Coinspeaker. With a Bachelor degree in International Business and Economics, Sofiko has been deepening her knowledge of an agile innovative industry primary focusing on the robust blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. As a bank employee, Sofiko particularly keens on crypto and blockchain integration into the established banking systems.

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