October 11, 2018

Senators discuss blockchain, cryptocurrencies; NAFCU partnerships continue

blockchainThe Senate Banking Committee today holds a hearing to explore developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. NAFCU has been a leader in working with blockchain consortia in order to give credit unions a seat at the table as technologies are developed to improve financial services.

Today's hearing is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern.

NAFCU became the first financial trade association in the U.S. to join Hyperledger, a leading distributed ledger consortium that includes some of the largest technology and financial services companies in the world.

The association also was the first non-profit financial services trade association to partner with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). EEA is the world's largest open-source blockchain initiative, providing research and technology development in a range of areas beneficial to credit unions, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability and security.

NAFCU joined these endeavors to act as a conduit between its member credit unions and other partners that have shared interest in developing and testing blockchain proofs of concept that will benefit the credit union industry. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology is anticipated to change smart contracts, identity management and account creation.

In August, NAFCU met with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's (previously the CFPB) Office of Innovation, which intends to explore the use of digital currencies and microlending (lending by people rather than an institution). NCUA has also expressed interest in developing greater expertise to better understand issues related to cryptocurrencies.