JPMorgan to Acquire First Republic Bank Assets

JPMorgan Chase is poised to acquire the assets of First Republic Bank (FRB), after regulators closed the bank on May 1. JPMorgan and several other banks had submitted bids to acquire the troubled bank’s assets after early efforts to rescue it failed.

As part of the purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC, JPMorgan will take on all of FRB’s assets, including uninsured deposits. With $229.1 billion in assets and $103.9 billion in deposits, FRB was a significant acquisition for JPMorgan.

In addition to acquiring the bank’s assets, JPMorgan also entered into a loss-sharing agreement with the FDIC for residential and commercial loans acquired by FRB. Under the agreement, any losses and recoveries on the loans covered by the loss-share agreement will be shared between the FDIC and JPMorgan.

All depositors of FRB will become part of JPMorgan and will have access to their total deposits insured by the FDIC. The 84 locations of FRB in eight states will reopen as JPMorgan Chase, allowing customers to continue banking services at the current branch until they receive any change notification from JPMorgan.

The trouble began for FRB on April 26 when news of a government receivership surfaced. The bank’s shares dropped 20% in just a few hours following the announcement. The days following the announcement were even more volatile for the bank before regulators eventually closed the bank.

With FRB’s closure, it becomes the latest US bank to collapse in 2023, joining Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

This acquisition is a significant move for JPMorgan, as it expands its reach and strengthens its presence in the banking industry. JPMorgan has a history of making large-scale acquisitions, and this acquisition of FRB’s assets follows a pattern of growth through strategic acquisitions.

First Republic Bank had a reputation as a premier private bank for high-net-worth individuals and businesses. However, the bank had been struggling for some time due to a high level of non-performing loans and other financial difficulties. Despite efforts to rescue the bank, regulators determined that the best course of action was to close it and transfer its assets to another institution.

The loss-sharing agreement between JPMorgan and the FDIC is designed to mitigate any potential losses and ensure that depositors are protected. This agreement is a standard part of any acquisition involving a failed bank, and it ensures that the FDIC is able to recover as much of its costs as possible.

Overall, JPMorgan’s acquisition of First Republic Bank’s assets is a significant development in the banking industry. As JPMorgan continues to grow and expand its reach, this acquisition demonstrates its commitment to providing excellent banking services and support to customers across the United States.


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JPMorgan Develops AI Tool for Federal Reserve Analysis

JPMorgan has reportedly developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to analyze Federal Reserve statements and speeches to detect potential trading signals. According to a Bloomberg report on April 27, the Wall Street investment bank is using a ChatGPT-based language model to digest comments from United States central bankers. The tool is designed to help JPMorgan detect policy shifts and changes that could provide the bank with a heads-up on trading signals.

The AI tool assigns a Hawk-Dove Score to Fed policy signals, rating them on a scale from easy to restrictive. “Hawkish” is a monetary policy term that refers to raising interest rates to keep inflation under control, while “Dovish” favors an expansionary monetary policy and lower rates. The tool will help JPMorgan analysts predict changes in central bank tightening. For example, hawkish policy statements could result in rising yields on one-year government bonds.

According to JPMorgan’s model, which can analyze statements going back 25 years, Fed sentiment has fluctuated recently but remains predominantly hawkish. The tool will give analysts a way to detect policy shifts that could provide the bank with a heads-up on trading signals. “Preliminary applications are encouraging,” said JPMorgan economist Joseph Lupton.

However, JPMorgan has reportedly restricted its staff from using ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that powers the new tool. The move is part of a broader trend among financial institutions, as firms aim to keep AI chatbots from learning and revealing sensitive information.

In an annual letter to shareholders earlier this month, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon revealed that the bank has over 300 AI use cases in production. This latest tool is just one example of the many ways in which JPMorgan is leveraging AI to enhance its operations.

While the use of AI in finance is not new, JPMorgan’s latest tool represents a significant advancement in the field. By analyzing the language used by the Federal Reserve, JPMorgan hopes to gain insights into potential policy shifts and changes that could impact the markets. The AI tool will provide analysts with a more efficient way to sift through large amounts of data, enabling them to make more informed decisions.

Overall, JPMorgan’s latest AI tool is a promising development for the bank and for the finance industry as a whole. As AI continues to evolve, we can expect to see more banks and financial institutions turning to these powerful tools to help them gain a competitive edge in the markets.


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Polygon MATIC Price Surges to $0.951, Driven by Major Institutional Network Adoptions

Polygon (Matic) has been one of the major gainers for the last 24 hours in the cryptocurrency trading sector, according to CoinMarketCap. Polygon has risen its value by 4.33% in the past 7 days. The price increased by 11.44% in the last 24 hours.

At the time of writing, Polygon’s price was $0.951668 with a 24-hour trading volume of $1,147,593,937; and ranked #11, with a live market cap of $8,312,170,483.   

With Matic topping $0.951668, it emerged as the best-performing asset among the top-ranking cryptocurrencies on November 3, as per CoinMarketCap’s price-tracking website for crypto assets.

Indeed, the crypto market has enjoyed a bit of relief across all assets, which explains why Polygon (MATIC) is showing some short-term price momentum. However, MATIC’s network growth has significantly contributed to the latest decent uptick.

Courtesy: TradingView

On November 2, Instagram parent company Meta announced plans to introduce a number of a nonfungible token (NFT)-related tools that will enable creators to mint, show and sell NFTs. The tech firm tapped the Polygon blockchain as an initial partner for functionality that would allow its creators to make digital collectables and sell them on and off Instagram.

Banking giant JP Morgan also announced on November 2 that it successfully executed its first-ever cross-border transaction using decentralized finance (DeFi) on the layer-2 network Polygon blockchain. JPMorgan said it used Polygon to conduct its first live trade (worth around $71,000) on the blockchain technology, marking a crucial step toward integrating crypto assets into traditional financial frameworks.

After the above announcements, MATIC rose its value by over 13% to $0.985, accompanied by a surge in its daily trading volume.

In the last few months, multiple household names chose Polygon blockchain as their preferred partner to get their foot into Web3. Top-tier brands such as Coca-Cola, Reddit, DraftKings, Bentley Motors, Quadrata, NFTically, and Starbucks launched their NFTs on the Polygon network.

Despite Polygon seeing a considerable uptick in its value prompted by its network growth, it is still early days for the token to maintain its momentum at its $0.90 level. Macro risks threatening the ongoing crypto market recovery may hurt its bullishness and trigger its downsides.

Polygon cryptocurrency is expected to see slow yet steady growth that would maintain its average trading price of around $ 0.889911 and even climb to a maximum level of $1.15 throughout part of this year.

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JPMorgan Pulls Off First Live Trade on Public Blockchain

JPMorgan Chase & Co has successfully conducted its first live trade on a public blockchain.

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Through the trade, the multinational bank was able to issue tokenised $71,000. It was part of the Singapore central bank’s pilot programs that are testing the use of decentralised finance (DeFi) in the banking sector. Following that trade, JPMorgan traded it for tokenised yen with Japan’s SBI Digital Asset Holdings.

It signifies a big step towards entering the system that operates the world of cryptocurrencies and showcases the potential for other global banks to follow in its footsteps.

Other banks such as DBS Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered PLC and HSBC Holdings Plc are also part of the pilot testing rounds for JPMorgan’s live trade on a public blockchain.

This is not JPMorgan’s first use of blockchain technology to conduct transactions.

On May 20, JPMorgan Chase used cryptocurrency tokens for collateral in traditional financial asset transactions for the first time. 

Even though the live trade transaction was not for cryptocurrencies, the infrastructure used to execute the test was developed by crypto firms, the Polygon blockchain. JPMorgan used Polygon as it makes transactions on the Ethereum blockchain cheaper and a modified version of Aave, a major DeFi lending project.

Tyrone Lobban, head of Blockchain Launch and Onyx Digital Assets at JPMorgan, told Bloomberg, “today was the first step to show that we can actually trade on these public networks,” adding that “the future is really working toward scaling this pivotal moment.”

Prior to JPMorgan’s successful completion of the live trade, several other Wall Street institutions have been exploring the use of blockchain. Test and research for businesses to use the blockchain have been ongoing, especially for intraday repurchase – a sort of short-term borrowing in fixed income – and cross-border trades.

However, current efforts by banks are typically based on private blockchains that need users to receive permission to join.

According to Bloomberg, the use of public blockchains can eliminate challenges such as isolated or fragmented liquidity, which will provide the public access to the infrastructure.

In the interview with Bloomberg, Lobban added, “we clearly see what’s happening in the public domain, and we can see how the innovation is creating not only new ways of doing financial transactions but new types of products as well.”

He added that the bank plans to explore using other blockchain networks in the future.

In May, JPMorgan announced that the bank would use blockchain technology in the collateral settlement, planning to expand to other asset types such as equities and fixed income, according to Bloomberg.

Two of the bank’s entities are using tokens of BlackRock money market fund shares as collateral on their private blockchains, allowing trading outside of market hours.

To date, the bank has processed more than $300 billion in repo transactions using blockchain.

In addition to being used for derivatives, repo transactions, securities lending, and other transactions, a blockchain-based collateral settlement will also expand the application scope of tokenised collateral, providing investors with a wider variety of assets to invest as collateral.

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JPMorgan Hires Former Celsius Network Executive Aaron Iovine As Crypto Regulatory Policy Head

JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday announced the appointment of former Celsius Network executive Aaron Iovine as its new head of digital assets regulatory policy, a newly created job position as confirmed by a JPMorgan spokeswoman.

Mr. Iovine, who is the former head of policy and regulation for the bankrupt crypto lending platform Celsius Network Ltd., will help JPMorgan navigate regulatory affairs for digital asset trading matters.

Iovine will work with JPMorgan’s regulatory affairs group headed by Sharon Yang, who in the past served as a deputy assistant secretary for international financial markets at the Treasury Department.

Celsius hired Iovine in February this year from Cross River Bank, a digital asset-friendly regional lender. Upon Iovine’s departure, Celsius recently hired Benjamin Melnicki from Robinhood Markets Inc. as its head of cryptocurrency compliance and regulation.

Iovine, who is an experienced attorney, spent almost three years at Cross River, where he led policy and regulatory affairs, according to his LinkedIn profile. He left Celsius in September, two months after the crypto-lending platform filed for bankruptcy in New York.

The announcement comes less than a month after the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon told lawmakers that cryptocurrencies are “decentralized Ponzi schemes.”

In congressional testimony on September 22, Dimon referred to himself as “a major skeptic” on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Despite his hate for cryptocurrencies, the CEO embraces DeFi and blockchain as real and novel technologies that can be applied in both private and public sectors.

The hiring reflects the company’s commitment to compliance, as well as its recognition that firms require seasoned teams to deal with cryptocurrency regulatory issues. Regulators are increasing their scrutiny of the digital asset sector following the rising popularity of cryptocurrency trading activities. This has led some companies in the industry to pay closer attention to their compliance procedures.

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JPMorgan Hires Former Microsoft Executive Tahreem Kampton to Its Digital Assets-Related Payments Group

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a US multinational investment bank, announced on Friday that it has hired former Microsoft executive Tahreem Kampton as the company’s new senior payments executive within the bank’s payments group.

Mr. Kampton will be tasked with driving thought leadership to help the bank grow the future of payments and the digital assets ecosystem as well as evolve, thrive, and grow its customer base and the payments industry. Specifically, he will lead co-innovation with key partners in payments, blockchain, and the digital ecosystem where JPMorgan has already built a strong foundation.

Kampton had been with Microsoft in various roles since 1998, rising to the corporate treasurer and chief investment officer in January 2021. He retired from Microsoft earlier this year and since then had been part of advisory boards of various other companies.

In a statement, Kampton commented: “We see a new landscape where information, assets, and value flow seamlessly between physical, digital and virtual worlds – across borders, in outer space, and even in the metaverse.

JPMorgan has been proactive in the crypto industry and blockchain technology for several years. The US bank has been hiring aggressively to bolster its crypto and blockchain ambitions.

What Does This Mean for The Financial Industry?

Cryptocurrencies have been gaining traction as a form of payment among individuals, but banks are catching up as well.

In October 2020, Wall Street bank JPMorgan launched its digital currency dubbed ‘JPM Coin’ to be used for commercial purposes by financial institutions to send payments around the world.

A week later, JPMorgan launched a new business division dedicated to blockchain technology, called Onyx, designed to spearhead the company’s blockchain and digital currency initiatives like exchanging value between diverse types of digital assets.

Since its launch, the Onyx platform has been picked up for round-the-clock global payments by large institutional customers.

In December last year, German industrial group Siemens partnered with JPMorgan to develop a blockchain-based system for payments.

In May this year, BNP Paribas bank joined JPMorgan’s Onyx blockchain as it ramps up digital assets’ operations.

The above digital assets developments have helped to relieve pain points in the world of wholesale payments, specifically areas where the industry could save hundreds of millions of dollars with a better solution.

JPMorgan was one of the first major US banks that started offering its wealth management clients access to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency funds.

In July 2021, it became the first US bank to provide access to crypto services to all of its clients to add Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to its portfolio.

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JPMorgan Sees Retail Demand Improving, Ending ‘Intense Phase’ of Deleveraging

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), a US investment banking giant, issued a report on Thursday stating that demand among retail investors in the crypto market is improving. The report further said that the ‘intense phase’ of deleveraging appears to have passed.

In the report, the bank stated: “The extreme phase of backwardation seen in May and June, the most extreme since 2018, appears to be behind us.”

The prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum have increased 30.82% ($23,143.38) and 72.86% ($1,585.38) since plunging to record lows of $17,600 and $876 in June. These improvements have come as investors grow more optimistic that inflation could slow down and consumer spending remains healthy.

JPMorgan further disclosed that the recovery in asset prices is not witnessed in the crypto fund or futures space. This indicates that retail investors drive the demand, the bank explained. JPMorgan noted: “smaller wallets have seen an increase in ether or bitcoin balances since the end of June at the expense of larger holders.”

According to the bank’s report, in recent weeks, crypto markets have recovered as investors anticipate a software update known as the Ethereum “Merge,” which sets the transition of the blockchain from the proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism expected to take place on September 19.

As a result, Ethereum network activity has risen alongside increased investor sentiment, JPMorgan stated.

The bank also said the recovery in staked ether (stETH) is a good indication of how the deleveraging event devastated firms like Terra, Celsius, and Three Arrows Capital is now over.

Staked ether (stETH) is a token (from Lido decentralised finance and staking protocol) that is supposed to be worth the same as Ether (ETH). Just like the collapse of TerraUSD, in the past few months, stETH had been trading at a widening discount to the second-largest cryptocurrency and thus caused the flames of a liquidity crisis in the crypto market.

But now things have positively changed as stETH slowly repegs with Ether (ETH) as total staking assets rose on DeFi liquidity giant Lido. stETH-ETH peg has improved to 0.9778, with the stETH price trading closer to Ether (ETH) price at $1,463.83 and $1,593, respectively.

Last month, the Lido’s staked Ethereum depeg caused massive crypto selloffs and market crashes. With the stETH-ETH peg improving further, the possibility of market recovery appears in sight.

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Three Top JPMorgan Executives Jump Ship to Crypto Startups

According to Fortune media, three top executives at JPMorgan have left the leading major bank to join the cryptocurrency industry. 

Despite the current crypto winter, this week has seen three executives working at the giant bank depart and joined crypto firms.

Eric Wragge, a former managing director at JPMorgan with 21 years working at the bank, has joined the Algorand blockchain technology firm as Head of Business Development and Capital Markets.

Puja Samuel, a former Head of Ideation and Digitization at JPMorgan, has also joined Digital Currency Group (a parent company that owns Bitcoin brokerage firm, Genesis Trading and CoinDesk crypto media) as Head of Corporate Development.

Also, early this week, Samir Shah, JPMorgan Chase’s Head of Asset Management Sales, left the bank and assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer at cryptocurrency-focused investment firm Pantera Capital.

Wragge’s joining Algorand shows that he will report to Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden. In the new role, he will be expected to chair the foundation’s investment committee as well as lead initiatives in both traditional capital markets as well as decentralized finance (DeFi).

Wragge talked about his appointment at Algorand and said: “Coming from a leading global investment bank, I understand the uncompromising performance requirements for a layer 1 blockchain to compete against and improve upon many aspects of traditional finance.”

Samuel, also commented about his role at Digital Currency Group: “I am excited to help build out new strategic partnerships alongside an energized team that is driving change across the financial system.”

Embracing Crypto World

The latest move of JPMorgan executives jumping ship to the crypto industry is a trend that has been developing lately. Several executives have moved from big corporations to crypto startups.

In February, Goldman Sachs executive Roger Bartlett left the leading global investment bank after 16 years and joined the Coinbase crypto exchange. In his LinkedIn profile, Bartlett stated that it was time to embrace the cryptocurrency economy. He described the change as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become part of building the next stage of the digital revolution.

That is the same sentiment held by several big tech executives and finance professionals making the move into cryptocurrency, as they look to be part of the rapidly growing crypto industry.

Some Wall Street executives have left to launch their own crypto or Web3 ventures. In 2018, Amber Baldet, a prominent blockchain executive at JPMorgan Chase, left the bank and co-founded decentralization startup Clovyr.

In March, Revolut’s chief revenue officer Alan Chang departed the British fintech to start a new crypto venture.

In April last year, Konstantin Shulga, a former senior executive of Russia’s largest bank, Sber, co-founded Finery Markets, a crypto-over-the-counter service, where he serves as the CEO.

The rise in executive moves is an indication of the growing attraction to the crypto world for financial and tech executives who are believed to have amassed a fortune but are keen to become part of the next disruption.

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JPMorgan Backs Bitcoin to Rise 28%, Saying Cryptos are Preferred Alternative Asset

U.S.-based global investment bank JPMorgan disclosed on a note on Wednesday that the fair price of Bitcoin is 28% higher than its current level, implying “significant upside from here” after the current dramatic pullback in cryptocurrencies.

The investment bank mentioned that it was sticking to its view that $38,000 was a fair price for Bitcoin. That figure was 28% higher than the current price of the crypto, which stood at the $29,722 level on Wednesday morning.

In the note, the bank’s strategists, including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, stated: “The past month’s crypto market correction looks more like capitulation relative to last January or February and going forward we see upside for Bitcoin and crypto markets more generally.”

JPMorgan acknowledged that the recent market crash has hurt cryptos more than other alternative investments, like real estate, private equity, and private debt. That suggests there is more room for cryptocurrencies to bounce back, the strategists mentioned in the note.

The bank further pointed out that cryptocurrencies have overtaken real estate as one of its preferred “alternative assets” — financial assets that don’t fall into the conventional categories like stocks and bonds.

“We thus replace real estate with digital assets as our preferred alternative asset class along with hedge funds,” JPMorgan strategists wrote in the note.

The strategists further stated that the dramatic crash of the TerraUSD stablecoin and its sister cryptocurrency Luna triggered fear among several crypto investors. They, however, observed that there is little indication that venture-capital funding into cryptocurrencies was slowing down.

In February, JPMorgan released a similar report stating that the long-term price of Bitcoin would reach $150,000. In January, the investment bank carried out a client survey and identified that the majority of respondents expected Bitcoin price to hit $60,000 or more this year.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies have fallen to their lowest level in 2022, down more than 50% from their all-time price high in November last year. The plunge witnessed this year came as rising inflation and interest rates, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and China’s crackdown triggered investors to abandon assets considered risky.

The current crypto crash marks one of its worst prices falls in recent years, with market analysts warning it could form part of a longer-term bear market if it does not rebound soon.

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DBS Eyeing for the Metaverse

Singapore-based bank DBS, the largest financial institution in the ASEAN, is reportedly eyeing a move into the metaverse, a trend that many banking giants are looking to become pioneers in.


As contained in an interview with Nikkei Asia, DBS’s Chief Information Officer, Jimmy Ng, confirmed the bank’s strategy now involves a dive into new technological innovations, including the metaverse.

New Diversification for Tech Research Funds

DBS has earned its mark as a financial institution that heavily invested in new tech as it earmarks as much as 1 billion Singapore dollars ($730 million) annually. The bank is now ready to divest some of the funds into the metaverse, in a bid to cement its digital banking push.

“There are a few key technologies that we are looking at. One of them, of course, is the metaverse,” Ng said. “We are actively exploring this space even as it evolves.”

The plan does not come as a surprise for a bank like DBS, one of the few outfits licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operate a cryptocurrency trading platform in the country. While Ng did not give more explanations on what the metaverse push will entail, Ng confirmed that Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) would play a major part as both technologies are highly interwoven.

One of the ways Ng said the bank will get involved with the metaverse is probably by setting up an avenue by which its clients can access the bank’s services through the metaverse. He affirmed that “the way we do banking can be imported to very different platforms, such as the metaverse.”

“We believe that over time, emerging technologies such as blockchain, [augmented reality] and [virtual reality] will converge to create very interesting use cases that we have never imagined,” he said.

Back in January, JPMorgan Chase & Co set up a version of its Onyx platform on Decentraland, coming off as one of the major banking firms to fully explore the capabilities of the metaverse. With the new pursuit, DBS will not play second fiddle to its peers in the race for the metaverse.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 38,670.36 2.54%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,102.92 3.49%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 71.29 2.58%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 226.15 1.73%