JP Morgan Chase Preps for a Bitcoin Competitor

chase-pay-800x420One of the things that makes the Dark Android Project possible is the advent of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and others of its ilk really make the anonymity that a Dark Android device allows for to be possible, and I couldn’t be happier that these technologies exist to allow people to achieve–as I call it–DAPS in their interactions with the digital world, and even with others in the physical world.

Unfortunately, the same blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (few of which I’m a fan of) is also being used in pilot programs by various large banks around the world. Not that this is a shock, but the incredibly irony is that I believe Bitcoin was created to weaken the stranglehold of the legacy banking system, and give control over one’s money back to the individual.

It would seem, though, that digital payments and blockchain technology will soon also be in the arsenal of the big banks, with JP Morgan Chase leading the charge.

Enter…Chase Pay.

It’s a terrible name, I grant you… when I read it, it brings to mind the idea of having to “chase your pay down” from a doofus of an employer, but then maybe that analogy is fitting in a roundabout way. And people are already insulting it for “being behind the times” because instead of NFC or other new methods to make a payment, Chase Pay–coming to iOS and Android–is going to use QR codes to make payments and exchange customer data.

But what some people see as a weakness for Chase Pay, I see as revealing of what JP Morgan Chase actually has in mind. Yes, when the Chase Pay app and system launches in 2016, it will be tied to your bank account and will allow you to spend the dollars you’ve deposited in that account. But their use of QR codes is a two-fold deal, one of which is a glimpse into the future, in my opinion.

First, QR codes are able to send all kinds of information, much, much more than just a payment. They can send identification, location, any number of things you can think of. Wal-Mart’s digital payment system was also being set up to use QR codes, and it was admitted that all of this extraneous information was going to be transmitted. Compare that to Bitcoin, which could probably do the same thing at some point, but for now merely sends the payment info, and keeps transactions simple and clean, and only identifiable via the exchange of keys, no other information sent. Obviously, JP Morgan Chase would like a lot more information sent during said transactions. Pseudonimity is not in their genetic makeup as a corporation.

But I think the Bitcoin point is important for the second part of this strategy I’m theorizing that Chase is engaging in with Chase Pay. I think–like Citibank and others–Chase is working on their own cryptocurrency, or at least their own blockchains (their digital currency would likely tie to the US dollar…or something), and Chase Pay will allow for the use of that currency via its QR code system, which is exactly what Bitcoin uses.

I’m definitely dabbling in the realm of speculation, but the idea that major banks are testing blockchains is, as we said, a reality. And now with the creation of what amount to wallet apps with the likes of Chase Pay from JP Morgan Chase, I think we’re getting a preview of the future of the legacy banking system.

Let’s just hope independent blockchain technologies or even post-blockchain technologies end-run the whole legacy system before these banking blockchains get much of a foothold, because–in my opinion, and as I’ve talked about many times on my podcast, Sovryn Tech–blockchains have the real potential to do far more harm to one’s financial freedom in the wrong hands than the present banking system could ever hope of achieving.

Carpe lucem!