The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved a trademark for “J.P. Morgan Wallet,” putting the nation’s largest bank in position to expand the crypto services it provides.
A USPTO filing, published Monday, indicates JPMorgan Chase, through its digital wallet brand, can provide electronic transfer of virtual currencies for members of an online community to use, cryptocurrency payment processing, virtual checking accounts and payment settlement between parties, among other features.
The filing covers ground well beyond crypto — as in areas like creation of an online virtual environment for payment processing, cloud computing software for myriad payment use cases, and processing of Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions and real-time debit payments.
The green light comes more than two years after the bank submitted the wallet-related paperwork to the agency for approval.
The bank’s advances in crypto run counter to the musings of its CEO. Jamie Dimon in 2017 called Bitcoin “a fraud” and said he would fire “in a second” anyone at JPMorgan found to be trading in the digital currency.
“You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” he said, according to The Guardian.
“Eventually it will be closed,” Dimon said at a conference that year. “It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed.”
His reluctance with crypto has continued. Testifying in September in front of the Senate Banking Committee, he called crypto platforms “decentralized Ponzi schemes,” according to Bloomberg.
“The notion that it’s good for anybody is unbelievable,” Dimon added, lumping the virtual currencies together with several nefarious behaviors. “Every year, $30 billion of ransomware, [money laundering], sex trafficking, stealing — it’s dangerous.”
That hasn’t stopped the bank from providing crypto services on several fronts. JPMorgan in 2020 extended banking services to crypto exchanges Coinbase and Gemini.
The bank also operates a blockchain network Onyx and a private stablecoin, JPM Coin.
JPMorgan performed an international currency swap with two Singapore banks this month on the Polygon blockchain. It partnered with Visa last month in a move meant to integrate JPMorgan’s blockchain product Liink with the card company’s business-to-business Connect network. And notable, JPMorgan built out a space in the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland this year.