Are you stuck somewhere in outer space with utility bills to settle? Then you need not worry, because the satellites may be able to take care of them.
JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) reportedly been testing blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DTL)-powered payments between different satellites that are orbiting our planet, senior management professionals at the bank told Reuters. They revealed that the digital devices may use the blockchain tech which powers virtual or cryptocurrencies for conducting transactions.
The Internet of Things (IoT), where various devices are linked up with each other, are commonly most associated with consumer electronics items, such as “smart” speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Now, banks plan to handle payments when these so-called “smart” devices begin conducting transactions autonomously.
Umar Farooq, CEO at JPMorgan’s blockchain or DLT unit Onyx, noted that outer space was a good place to try out these ideas and technologies.
“The idea was to explore IoT payments in a fully decentralized way. Nowhere is more decentralized and detached from earth than space. Secondly we are nerdy and it was a much more fun way to test IoT.”
In order to carry out the space experiment, JPMorgan’s blockchain or DLT-focused team didn’t actually send out its own satellites into space. Instead, they reportedly worked cooperatively with Danish firm GOMspace, which lets third-parties operate software on its satellites.
Farooq stated that the satellite testing indicates that DLT networks may be able to power transactions conducted between everyday objects.
The testing also revealed that it might be possible to establish a marketplace where satellites are able to exchange data for payments, as more private firms start introducing their own devices in outer space, Tyrone Lobban, head of blockchain or DLT launch at Onyx, noted.
Back on planet earth, examples of IoT transactions that may be implemented soon could include a “smart” fridge ordering and also being able to pay for milk via a digital commerce platform, or even a self-driving automobile paying for fuel, Farooq added.
Blockchain or DLT platforms, which have emerged as the technological software underpinning most virtual currencies, have been widely adopted by enterprises across the globe. Financial institutions have invested large amounts of resources to identify and implement use cases for blockchain tech. Many of these initiatives focus on lowering operational costs while streamlining complex and traditional IT processes, like securities settlement or cross-border transactions.
JPMorgan is notably one of the most active banking institutions when it comes to supporting the development of blockchain-based software. The bank has developed its own DLT system, known as Quorum (back in 2016), which was recently acquired by Ethereum development studio Consensys.
JPMorgan has also created a virtual coin known as JPM Coin. Last year, the bank launched the blockchain Onyx project.
Onyx reportedly has over 100 professionals working on various initiatives and its blockchain-based applications are now quite close to posting substantial earnings for the institution.
Onyx’s apps include Liink, a payments information network that connects with over 400 banking services providers and aims to effectively replace paper-based checks and various IoT experiments, Farooq revealed.