LONDON — JPMorgan has asked a London-based fintech head to draw up a cryptocurrency strategy for the bank.
Oliver Harris, 29, is taking on a new role as head of crypto-assets strategy, reporting to Umar Farooq, the head of blockchain initiatives at the corporate and investment bank. Harris will also lead JPMorgan’s Quorum project, the internal blockchain platform developed by the bank that’s rumoured to be preparing for a spinoff.
Financial News first reported Harris’ new job, which Harris has advertised on his LinkedIn profile. JPMorgan declined to comment to Business Insider.
Harris has for the past two years been running JPMorgan’s In Residence programme, which identifies and partners with promising fintech startups.
Harris will be identifying and spearheading new crypto projects for the bank, rather than actively trading cryptocurrencies. Financial News reports that Harris will look at crypto custody services and how blockchain could work in JPMorgan’s payments business.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been famously dismissive of cryptocurrencies — and bitcoin specifically, calling it a fraud in September. More recently he told CNBC, „I’m open-minded to uses of cryptocurrencies if properly controlled and regulated.”
Mainstream financial institutions that were once wary of cryptocurrencies are increasingly exploring ways to enter the market. Goldman Sachs recently announced it was setting up a bitcoin trading desk, and the exchange group CME this week launched two ether price indexes, sitting alongside bitcoin futures products it launched last year.