US Regulator: Cryptocurrencies May Pose Risks, Rewards for Credit Unions

The top regulator for US credit unions said in a new report that cryptocurrencies pose both risk and reward for institutions in the industry.

AccessTimeIconSep 29, 2017 at 7:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:59 a.m. UTC

The US federal agency that oversees the country's credit union industry included a remark on the possible risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies in a newly-released strategy plan.

Published yesterday, the 2018-2022 Draft Strategy Plan largely focuses on the economic trends that will shape US credit unions, as well as the policy implications that may come about as a result. The growing use of fintech means that "credit unions are likely to face a range of challenges" from companies that are advancing products and services in this area.

According to the text, the potential for the wider use of cryptocurrencies is cited as one of the technology factors that could drive change in the way that credit unions do business.

"The emergence and the increasing importance of digital currencies predicted by many analysts may pose both risks and opportunities to consumers, credit unions, banks and financial regulators," the report's authors state, adding later: "These trends are likely to continue, and even accelerate, through 2022."

Though the draft doesn't mention it, a number of credit unions in the US have already moved toward exploring how they can apply the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to their own operations.

Last year, a group of institutions unveiled the CU Ledger project, aimed at creating new services built on top of the tech. And just last month, the consortium of more than 50 credit unions revealed their plan to create a credit union service organization, or CUSO, and have since been seeking investors for the venture.

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