USAA's recent entrance into the bitcoin space may have been driven, in part, by interest in the technology among its own membership.
The financial group's head of corporate development, Vic Pascucci, said that USAA envisions digital currencies playing a possible role in future services, and cited internal data that points to interest in bitcoin among its customers.
Pascucci told CoinDesk:
USAA's statements suggest that the investment in Coinbase serves a dual purpose, to both position it in the alternative digital finance space, as well as the bitcoin market itself.
Interest in returns
Pascucci said that USAA took part in the funding round out of a desire to both explore new technologies as well as generate profitable returns.
At the same time, he pointed to Coinbase as a successful company within the growing bitcoin space, noting:
“[Coinbase is] the market leader in the bitcoin wallet space,” Pascucci added. “They have tremendous technology and management.”
The company left the door open to a potential application of bitcoin to its operational process, though it remains unclear how the financial group might utilize the protocol.
"We see [bitcoin] as more of an enabler, with great future potential for us to better serve our members," he said.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.