Wall Street giant JPMorgan makes further push into crypto, advertising a new senior Web3-focused position.
The new position will require forging a new path, creating new frameworks, and working rapidly in the presence of ambiguity. The individual must focus on understanding clients’ payment needs in the Web3, Crypto, Fintech, and Metaverse space. They will also need to help the bank to understand the competitive payments landscape and how to position JPMorgan’s payments department to compete.
This appointment comes as the Wall Street bank seeks to position itself as a player in institutional-grade DeFi by tokenizing traditional financial instruments to be used as collateral in decentralized finance pools. As a case in point, JPMorgan partnered with Singapore’s DBS Bank and Marketnode earlier this year to test the use of tokenized bonds and deposits in permissioned DeFi liquidity pools.
The tokenization process imposes strict Know-Your-Customer rules on DeFi’s pools.
In May this year, the bank pioneered a blockchain collateral settlement system, receiving tokenized money market fund shares from asset manager BlackRock Inc. on a private blockchain, the Onyx Digital Assets platform. The collateral is settled in-house using the bank’s native digital asset JPM Coin.
Bank looks to bring traditional assets into crypto space
According to LinkedIn, JPMorgan’s new crypto position has received 46 applicants, most of whom possess at least a Bachelor’s degree. In addition to five or more years of financial services experience, applicants need to have a deep interest in crypto and a desire to upskill in the field. With crypto and Web3 being a relatively new subvertical in the bank’s 200-plus year existence, no explicit crypto qualification is needed. Applicants with experience in the software-as-a-service, semiconductor, or financial technology industries will be favored.
The bank is going after Web 3 from different angles, all focused on bringing core banking principles and products into the Web3 ecosystem. It wants to bring the speed and convenience of blockchain technology to bear on traditional financial products and services.
It recently splurged $12 billion on a virtual bank branch in Decentraland’s metaverse earlier this year, seeing a future where a metaverse real estate market could flourish with all the associated financial instruments, including credit, mortgage, and rental contracts.
By the end of Dec. 2021, the average price of a piece of virtual land had doubled from $6,000 in June 2021 to $12,000, according to the bank’s metaverse report.
Universities offering crypto-related courses
Job postings for crypto-related jobs have boomed in 2022. In May this year, LinkedIn reported that advertisements for crypto-related jobs spiked by 73%.
In response, at least ten tertiary institutions are offering blockchain and cryptocurrency-related courses, some of which focus on technological aspects. In contrast, others are geared towards management professionals. Institutions providing the courses include The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, University of Zurich, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University College London, Tsinghua University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Stanford University, and the University of Oxford.
Notably, Hong Kong Polytechnic is one of few to offer a postgraduate qualification.