The JPM Coin Will Either Kill Crypto—or Save It

Yesterday the massive bank JP Morgan announced the launch of JPM Coin, a digital token that will be used by institutional clients to instantly settle payments. Predictably, Crypto Twitter had a lot of thoughts, especially since JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon previously bashed bitcoin while lauding blockchain and regulated digital currencies. The reactions ranged from fist-pumping enthusiasm to proclamations that this news is the death knell of cryptocurrency. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, former JP Morgan blockchain strategy lead Franklin Bi had some capital-F Feelings:

Some other positive reactions stemmed from how this may impact other coins.

Some see this as a boon for cryptocurrency overall. (The Barron’s writer is not one of those people.)

Others suggested that this buy-in from such a major player will spur other developments among more mainstream institutions.

Others shared a fair amount of skepticism, suggesting it’s inaccurate to consider JPM Coin a cryptocurrency at all. Surprisingly, infamous crypto nemesis Nouriel Roubini came through with a take that plenty of bitcoin purists might actually agree with:

Others provided handy diagrams and pop culture references to get the point across.

Of course, dire predictions ensued.

Along with some basic questions that the announcement raises: 

Seriously though, it’s a question worth asking.

The JPM Coin news also launched a separate conversation largely focusing on how the move would affect Ripple, as both are seemingly focused on creating payment infrastructures for sending and receiving payments with lower costs and faster delivery times.

As Mati Greenspan, a Senior Market Analyst at eToro put it in an email:

There have been several articles saying that this news is bad for Ripple as it could eat into their core market. One article even claimed that JPM coin has killed the Bitcoin dream, but nothing could be further from the truth. Especially in a nascent industry, having competition is good for business. In fact, the atmosphere among the XRP community was one of celebration more than anything.”

CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, compared the move to the early aughts of the web.

Question do remain though about the impact this might have on potential markets for XRP.

It’ll be hard to get a clear sense of the JPM Coin’s impact for at least another few months, since it’s is only set for trials with a tiny fraction of individuals and companies. But the move represents one of the early forays of major financial actors into the digital token space, and may set an example for other institutions. In the meantime, Crypto Twitter will be watching.