Author: Gan Jia Ci
Investment bank and financial services giant JPMorgan will be deploying Oliver Harris as the new head of crypto-assets strategy. Harris, 29, was previously the head of FinTech and In-Residence based in London.
Taking on the new role, Harris will be the subordinate of Umar Farooq, head of blockchain development. According to Business Insider, Harris will also be overseeing JPMorgan’s internal blockchain project, Quorum. Development of Quorum was previously led by the Blockchain Centre of Excellence’s executive director Amber Baldet, and the blockchain project was rumoured in late March to have a spinoff by going independent.
Over the past two years, Harris has been leading JPMorgan’s In-Residence programme that looks for fintech startups that are deemed to have potential to partner with.
With the new position, he will be identifying and leading new cryptocurrency projects instead of trading in cryptocurrencies. Not only that, he will reportedly be investigating crypto custody services and analysing the ways in which blockchain could be adopted in JPMorgan’s payments services.
While the newly appointed co-president of JPMorgan Daniel Pinto spoke fondly about the era of cryptocurrencies and the role they play in the bank’s future, veteran CEO Jamie Dimon has expressed otherwise, reported by Block Asia.
On many occasions, Dimon criticised Bitcoin. In September 2017, he claimed Bitcoin was a fraud and that he would fire any employees for trading in them.
However, he has since turned to a more ambiguously neutral stance, stating that he regretted his previous statements. Dimon told CCN in January, “I could care less about Bitcoin. I don’t know why I said anything about it. I don’t personally understand the value of something that has no actual value. You all can do whatever you want and I don’t care.”