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What Is JPMorgan Chase Doing In Space? – Wealth Tech Digest #11

Key takeaways

✅ What Is JPMorgan Chase Doing In Space?

Our first article today reports that JP Morgan Chase has been testing blockchain payments between orbiting satellites in space. The goal of the project was to demonstrate how digital devices might use the technology behind virtual currencies for transactions. JPM’s CEO Jamie Dimon is well-remembered for his bitcoin comments, likening them to trash. But now the company is trying to embrace the fast changing technology of the IoT, or Internet of Things. The Iot refers to devices connecting to one another, like smart speakers. And when these connected devices begin to complete transactions autonomously – JPMorgan Chase wants to be ready. A smart refrigerator might order and pay for grocery items on an e-commerce website. Then that e-grocer fills the order and pays a self-driving car to make the delivery to the consumer. These are the types of transactions that banks are preparing for.

Umar Farooq is the CEO of JP Morgan’s blockchain business, Onyx. Farooq wanted to explore IoT payments in a fully decentralized way. And according to him, nowhere is more decentralized and detached from Earth than space. The JPM blockchain team worked with a Danish company, GOMspace. GOMspace allows third parties to run software on its satellites. And JPM’s initial tests proved that it is possible to create a marketplace where satellites send each other data in exchange for payments. This accomplishment gets added to JPMorgan’s Onyx unit and the introduction of their own digital currency, the JPM coin. Combined, these moves tell us that JPMorgan is committed to embracing a digital future.

✅ How Is The EU Going To Battle Greenwashing?

Our next article today warns that new EU finance rules are rolling out to battle greenwashing. The term greenwashing refers to market participants who talk up their environmental credentials but don’t actually follow through with action. To combat this deception, the EU has introduced the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation or SFDR for short. The SFDR covers any entity or financial product, regardless of how they are marketed. And there are explicit rules for reporting at both the product and company level. The new regulations have many goals – top among them is the commitment to drive $1 trillion euros into green investment over the next decade.

The new regulations also seek to iron out inconsistent climate-related data currently provided by financial market participants. And last but not least – the SFDR aims to give firms with genuinely sustainable products an edge over the competition. Demands for ESG investments jumped last year, driving a 29 percent increase in assets under management. ESG funds now sit at $1.7 trillion, according to asset management industry tracker, Morningstar. And as of now, all funds must disclose how they factor sustainability risks into their investment decisions. Funds that promote environmental, social or sustainability objectives are now required to explain them. This information is to be made clear both on company marketing material as well as on their websites. And it must include clear objectives and how they plan to meet them.

Beginning in June, firms with more than 500 staff members will be required to report on the negative impacts of their investments as well. And national financial market authorities will enforce potential penalties for non-compliance. But many in the field feel unprepared to meet these rules. EU regulators have not yet confirmed many details of the data that is required, and some are concerned that the data needed doesn’t even exist. This has inspired many investment managers to wait until later in the year to determine how they can safely proceed with labeling their investments.

✅ Arabesque Asset Management Chooses New CEO

And finally today we cover the first appointment to Arabesque Asset Management’s new CEO position. Herman Bril is set to join Arabesque and take on the responsibility for the company’s growing sustainable investment strategies. Arabesque is using artificial intelligence to drive these investments, including its new net-zero climate strategy. According to Georg Kell, chairman of the Arabesque Group, a more sustainable financial system is starting to emerge. At the heart of this new system are technology and digitization, and they are shaping the future of ESG investing. Kell says that he is thrilled to welcome Bril and his experience with successfully developing and implementing sustainable investment strategies. Before joining Arabesque, Bril will finish his tenure as CIO of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. That fund manages over $80 billion in assets and has gone a long way in preparing Bril for his new role at Arabesque. 

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