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JP Morgan registers trademark for its crypto wallet

News broke yesterday that JP Morgan Chase Bank has registered the trademark of its JP Morgan wallet for crypto. 

The trademark registration was with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under number 6,901,799. It was registered on 15 November, but only became known yesterday. 

The registered trademark is “J.P. MORGAN WALLET,” and it appears to have been registered for several purposes, including: 

  • electronic transfers of virtual currencies
  • financial exchange of virtual currencies
  • processing of cryptocurrency payments
  • processing of credit card and cash payments
  • electronic processing of foreign currency payments
  • creation of virtual payment accounts
  • settlement of payments between customers and their counterparties
  • management of counterparties’ funds 
  • collection of counterparty payments for customers
  • money transfer services for high and low value cross-border payments
  • creation of an online virtual environment for payment processing and exchange of multiple currencies in multiple languages
  • processing of electronic check payments
  • online invoice payment
  • processing of point-of-sale and mobile payments
  • recurring billing, e-commerce, creation and management of payment plans and recurring payments.

It is worth noting that JPMorgan’s first application for this registration dates as far back as 28 July 2020, while the final trademark registration took place only last week. 

JP Morgan’s crypto wallet

This registration covers only the trademark, and says nothing about the technical features of the crypto wallet.

Moreover, the fact that the trademark has been registered for countless services does not necessarily mean that they will all be provided by the software they will release. 

However, there is already a page on the bank’s official website dedicated to their J.P. Morgan Wallet™.

The crypto wallet does not yet appear to be downloadable, but its main features are listed. 

The slogan by which it is summarized is “Real-time Virtual Sub-ledgers,” and it is proposed as a solution to maximize competitive advantage by managing:

“millions of payments in real time, on any platform, all with one bank account.”

This suggests that such a wallet will be a feature offered to account holders who already have a bank account with JP Morgan Chase. 

In addition, it is said to be made specifically for the needs of e-commerce, with the customer at the center, so much so that it is specified that it will allow hundreds of millions of virtual sub ledgers to be managed with a single account.

So it is possible that it is not a product aimed at retail customers, but specifically at businesses and especially larger ones. 

There is no mention of crypto or virtual currencies on the website, but the reference in the trademark registration is explicit. 

The potential of the wallet

Putting this information together, one would think that JPMorgan’s crypto wallet may have been designed for those large companies that want to integrate cryptocurrency payments, especially online, with ease. 

Indeed, the explicit reference to the “financial exchange of virtual currencies” in the trademark registration would also suggest the integration of an exchange within the services offered by the wallet. 

Then again, large companies that might be cashing in large volumes in cryptocurrencies would not benefit from keeping them in their wallets once they are cashed in. 

Instead, it would be convenient to convert them immediately into fiat currency, and this would require an integrated exchange. 

It is possible that the crypto exchange that could be integrated is not owned by JPMorgan, but an existing crypto exchange, such as Coinbase, that can provide its exchange services within the same wallet as JP Morgan. 

Who is JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase Bank, which registered this trademark, is a company within the JPMorgan Chase Group. 

JP Morgan Chase is one of the so-called “Big Four” US banks, along with Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. 

It is the world’s largest bank, with a market capitalization of more than $420 billion, and is also one of the world’s largest asset management companies, with $2.9 trillion under management and $25.4 trillion in custody. Its hedge fund unit is the third largest hedge fund in the world.

It was founded in New York even in 1799 as Bank of the Manhattan Company, and since 2000 has taken the new name following the merger of Chase Manhattan Corporation and J.P. Morgan & Co.

Bank of the Manhattan Company in 1955 merged with Chase National Bank to form Chase Manhattan Bank, while JP Morgan & Co. has a different history. 

It was founded directly by John Pierpont Morgan Sr. in 1871. 

JP Morgan was by far one of the richest and most important US businessmen in history. Among other things he also helped found General Electric and US Steel. He also controlled several railroad companies, including the famous Western Union. 

After his death, his bank J.P. Morgan & Co. later gave rise to three of the world’s current largest banking institutions, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank (via Morgan, Grenfell & Co.). 

It is therefore a true American institution, which is also still extremely important globally. 

JP Morgan and crypto

For some time now, the bank has also been interested in crypto. 

For example, on J.P. Morgan’s official website there is a page devoted explicitly and exclusively to “Cryptoasset Disclosure.” In addition, there is also a section devoted to Onyx, which is their proprietary blockchain platform for digital assets. 

JP Morgan Chase’s official website also explicitly mentions blockchain, with an article stating that the blockchain revolution has arrived. 

Moreover, they have been interested in crypto for some time now, as evidenced, for example, by last year’s collaboration with Siemens to develop a blockchain-based payment system. 

Even more interesting, however, is the prediction made about a year ago by their crypto analyst Nikolas Panigirtzoglou that the maximum price of the previous bull run would be around $73,000 (it was later $69,000), while in the long run, it could reach $146,000. 

While it does not appear that the bank is investing directly in cryptocurrencies, it is definitely active in providing crypto services. 

They are not only developing technical tools and services to be able to handle and use cryptocurrencies but also offering crypto investment services to their clients. 

With the registration of the J.P. Morgan Wallet brand, it seems that it even wants to commit to providing large e-commerce companies with a cryptocurrency cashing service with automatic and immediate conversion to fiat currencies. 

In light of all this, it would seem that the J.P. Morgan group sees cryptocurrencies as a genuine new financial instrument that deserves to be used and exploited. In other words, it does not appear at all that they consider it a mere speculative financial product, but a real technological solution worth investing in. 

This is despite the fact that CEO Jamie Dimon continues to claim that cryptocurrencies are “decentralized Ponzi schemes.”