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 digital services it provides, including in cryptocurrencies.
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. It can also provide cryptocurrency payment processing, virtual checking accounts and payment settlement between parties, among other offerings.
The filing covers 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 from the patent office comes more than two years after the bank submitted the wallet-related paperwork to the agency. The approval also follows closely on the heels of a bankruptcy filing earlier this month of one of the biggest crypto exchanges, FTX, which disclosed that it owes creditors $3 billion.
This latest advance for the bank in crypto services is at odds with some past statements from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who in 2017 called Bitcoin “a fraud” and said he would fire “in a second” anyone at the bank 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 this year. 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.
In addition, JPMorgan partnered with Visa last month in a move meant to integrate JPMorgan’s blockchain product Liink with the card company’s business-to-business network.