The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has successfully completed a digital payments test in collaboration with JPMorgan’s blockchain and cryptocurrency unit Onyx. The trial run included testing the widely anticipated JPM Coin, a digital currency backed by the American investment bank JPMorgan.
Bahrain’s central bank revealed it is committed to improving the customer experience for secure and efficient settlement services. Seeking to achieve its mission, the financial institution completed a trial of JPMorgan Chase’s JPM Coin. This is the first test for the US bank’s blockchain product in the Middle East region.
The trial test included two other organizations, Manama-based ABC Bank and Bahrain national aluminum smelter Aluminum Bahrain (or ALBA).
As per the official announcement, the trial involved Manama-based ABC bank initiating real-time digital payments with ALBA using JPM Coin, a blockchain-based token and a stablecoin tied to the US dollar. The test has been accredited as one of a kind in the region, supervised by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The announcement also included how the country will continue its efforts to simplify financial technology to help deliver the best customer experience to the masses.
“The promising results of the payment test, which was supervised by the Central Bank of Bahrain, indicate the Kingdom’s commitment to elevating financial technology and striving to provide the highest quality of services and the best customer experience to continue leading the journey of financial technology transformation in the region” the announcement stated.
CBB had earlier disclosed its plans to explore digital currency payments using JPM Coin and had stated that the trial may assist the bank in extending its central bank digital currency (CBDC) development.
Speaking about the successful completion of the JPM Coin trial, Governor of CBB Rasheed Al Maraj said that he will continue to employ “pioneering technologies” to enhance the country’s financial framework.
CEO of ALBA, Ali Al Baqali, group executive vice president of Bank ABC, Sael Al Waqary, expressed similar sentiments, affirming their commitment towards Bahrain’s financial service development.
CEO of JPMorgan Bahrain, Ali Mousa, also commented on the trial confirming his commitment towards “spearheading the construction of the next generation of clearing and settlement infrastructure,” and stated that they are delighted to work with ALBA and Bank ABC to further the development of JPM digital currency in the region.
Even though JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon is one of the biggest critics of the digital asset industry, the aforementioned initiative is not the only crypto-related move the company has ever done.
Last summer, the US bank allowed its wealth management clients to get involved with six cryptocurrency funds. Four of the products are from Grayscale Investments and include Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust (BCHG), Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust (ETCG), while Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OBTC) is part of the Osprey Funds.