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JPMorgan in Talks to Move Its Quorum Blockchain to ConsenSys

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JPMorgan is in advance talks of investing $20 million in ConsenSys thereby pushing ahead the merger of its Ethereum-based Quorum to ConsenSys.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Wall Street banking giant JPMorgan has been thinking of moving its enterprise-grade open-source Quorum blockchain to ConsenSys. It seems like the deal is now closer to realization,

As per The Block, JPMorgan is in advanced discussions of a $50 million fundraise for ConsenSys. Sources familiar with the matter told the publication that JPMorgan is looking to invest $20 million leading the fundraising. This deal will see the merger of Ethereum-based Quorum to ConsenSys with the latter taking over its maintenance and support.

Currently, JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain uses the Ethereum blockchain network internally. With over 300 member banks, the Quorum platform operates the Interbank Information Network (IIN). The Quorum blockchain uses JPMorgan’s native cryptocurrency dubbed JPM Coin announced in early 2019. The JPM Coin is only used for big-value cross-border payment settlements.

If the deal proceeds further, it will also help JPMorgan to alleviate its cash woes. Earlier this year in April 2020, the company had to cut its staff by 14% amid the global slowdown. A year back, ConsenSys was also planning to raise $200 million as part of its restructuring plans. Post the spin-off from Quorum to ConsenSys, both the IIN and JPM Coin will continue to operate in the same manner.

JPMorgan and Consensys: Focus on Enterprise-Grade Blockchain Solutions

Joe Lubin – one of Ethereum’s co-founders and original backers of the project – founded ConsenSys a few years back. Lubin started this firm by funding it through its own Ethereum wealth. The company majorly focuses on providing enterprise blockchain consulting and solutions. Moreover, it also focuses for developing products for the Ethereum blockchain network.

In the past, ConsenSys has also worked on some big enterprise projects and implementations that use Quorum technology. Some of the world’s biggest agri-business companies are using the Quorum and ConsenSys platforms.

Previously, ConsenSys had also incubated projects like PegaSys by using the open-source enterprise blockchain Hyperledger Besu. Now with ConsenSys’ close proximity to Quorum, there’s some possibility of having close synergies between Quorum and Besu.

Apart from ConsenSys, a number of other big players like EY and Microsoft are working on protocols that encourage the adoption of the Ethereum blockchain. It will interesting to see further developments with the JPMorgan-ConsenSys deal.

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Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.



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NFT boom and platform upgrades back Decentraland’s (MANA) 100% rally

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In the past year non-fungible tokens (NFT) have been gaining ground as the digital art market exploded and developers experimented with a variety of use cases. Data from NonFungible shows that over the past 30 days there were 58,400 NFT sales and $12.7 million worth of volume.

In the same time period, MANA, the token behind the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland, totaled $636,000 in NFT trades. The virtual reality platform is built on Ethereum blockchain and provides a digital landscape where players can explore, interact with other players and purchase landplots along with other items.

The sector is dominated by crypto-collectibles and games like Cryptopunks, Sorare, Art Blocks, and Axie Infinity. These collectible NFTs range from virtual cards of professional soccer players to crypto-art and crypto-pets.

MANA/USDT 4-hour chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

During the first weeks of 2021 MANA rallied by 68%. In addition to this, some positive news of real-world authors entering the industry put some heft behind the current rally. For example, the creator of Rick and Morty will auction off some of his digital artwork on Jan. 19.

In the past 30 days MANA token traded $368 million in transparent volume according to data from Nomics and this represents a 257% increase from the previous month.

Recently, the average value and number of trades in the Decentraland marketplace has declined to about 20 per day and 70% of the sales are land and virtual properties.

Decentraland marketplace daily transaction history. Source: NonFungible.com

Non-fungible LAND tokens represent an individual’s ownership of land parcels. These tokens contain data like the coordinates for the land and virtual properties. Over the past four months, the largest transaction was worth nearly $150,000.

It is worth noting that MANA tokens are used to purchase in-game goods and services and are also used to settle the fees generated by LAND transactions.

A decentralized autonomous organization governs Decentraland (DAO), and all changes to the code are enacted through a collection of smart contacts. The MANA token allows holders to vote on policy updates, land auctions, and subsidies for new developments.

An interesting feature is that joining this virtual world does not require downloads, as the platform is web-based.

New features attract new users

In the past few months, Decentraland evolved to implement interactive applications, including payments and peer-to-peer communication.

A non-custodial, transparent, and auditable Virtual Casino is also being built in Decentraland. In this space players can use either MANA tokens or DAI stablecoin and another unique feature is that there are no Ethereum gas fees as the transactions take place on a second layer via the Matic network. Although limited games are available, poker and more complex games are being developed.

On Dec. 17, 2020, a voice chat feature was added. This allows users to interact with each other while scrolling through the virtual world, and it replicates the type of social interaction gamers are used to from major platforms like PlayStation and Xbox.

Decentraland launched its LAND API version 2.0 on Jan. 20, and this upgrade focused on improving marketplace metadata access. The update added endpoints that return more digestible information for those building tools that need data about LAND parcels and estates.

Lastly, Non-Fungible Token (NFT) arts exhibitions have been gaining track in the MANA ecosystem and given the popularity of NFT art, the new feature could draw new participants to the platform. The platform also hosted a few live music events with real-world artists, a clever move considering outdoor events like concerts have come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although much has been created, some critical features are yet to be implemented. These include a mobile version of the platform, micro-payments infrastructure and integration with virtual reality platforms.

MANA Twitter user activity vs. price (USD). Source: TheTie

Data from TheTIE, an alternative social analytics platform, shows that the recent price spike was preceded by increased social network activity. Thus, for those betting on MANA token appreciation, it is worthwhile to monitor social network activity data.

Decentraland has added a handful of new features to improve the user’s experience and support the growing NFT collectibles and digital real-estate sector. The new features under development also look promising, but overall, it is still in a very early adoption stage so participants should do their own research when considering whether to invest in MANA.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.