The lead of JPMorgan’s blockchain program is leaving to start her own venture.
According to Reuters, Amber Baldet was in charge of JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence (BCOE), where she led product development of Quorum, a type of blockchain the bank developed. She also set the bank’s blockchain strategy.
Baldet will be replaced by Christine Moy, a senior product manager in the Blockchain Center of Excellence who had been leading blockchain product development for the bank’s investor services and capital markets business.
A memo sent by Umar Farooq – head of channels, analytics and innovation for treasury services and head of blockchain initiatives for JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank – confirmed Baldet’s departure.
“Amber is extremely talented and helped build the outstanding team we have today,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Jessica Francisco told Reuters in a written statement. “We respect her desire to start her own venture and we wish her nothing but the best.”
While blockchain originally emerged as the technology powering cryptocurrencies, banks and other large companies have been working on ways to adapt it to run some of their processes.
For its part, JPMorgan has explored blockchain through initiatives like Quorum. And last week, it was reported that the bank was considering spinning off Quorum after deciding the efforts would be better off in the home of an independent business.
Sources said that rival banks haven’t been keen on using Quorum because it is so closely tied to JPMorgan, leading the financial institution to decide that the blockchain would be better off operating independently of it.
“We continue to believe distributed ledger technology will play a transformative role in business, which is why we are actively building multiple blockchain solutions,” the company write in a statement. “We’re not going to comment on speculation, but Quorum has become an extremely successful enterprise platform even beyond financial services, and we’re excited about its potential.”
Those same reports noted that Baldet would most likely leave the company if it spins out Quorum, or she could decide to create her own blockchain project for the financial services industry.