If our coverage were royalty, cryptocurrency would be king.
While few credit unions currently offer crypto services, the topic generates outsized interest among our readers based on traffic at news.cuna.org. That’s why we’ve moved our cryptocurrency coverage to the print world as well.
Depending on your viewpoint, digital currency is either the future of money or an avenue for criminals. While crypto’s market value has plummeted of late, from $2.1 billion in 2021 to $986 million as of June 2022, the number of cryptocurrencies has nearly tripled during that time (“Digital assets here to stay”).
Credit unions venturing into this arena see it as a way to engage members (“Connecting via crypto”). Members who may invest in cryptocurrency but want more information (aka, the “crypto curious”) seek out a trusted source: credit unions.
Applications for crypto include educating members, providing access to cryptocurrencies, exploring ideas for member investments, and examining enterprise applications for blockchain.
Real estate titles may move to nonfungible tokens, known as NFTs, because these instruments record and verify ownership.
There’s no denying consumer interest and participation in cryptocurrency. According to President Joe Biden’s executive order on the responsible development of digital assets, one in six Americans have owned or engaged with cryptocurrency in some fashion.
Regardless of whether credit unions provide crypto services, ignoring digital assets isn’t an option, says Lamont Black, a DePaul University professor and crypto expert. While he believes leaders should explore the opportunities presented by cryptocurrency, “that doesn’t mean you have to jump in with both feet. It’s a journey, and credit unions need to start that journey and build along the way.”
On another note, we’ll introduce the 2022 class of Credit Union Rock Stars, sponsored by Fiserv, on Oct. 1. Meet these innovative folks at news.cuna.org/rockstar.
BILL MERRICK, deputy editor, Credit Union National Association.
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This article appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Credit Union Magazine. Subscribe here.
Hear more from Black in the CUNA News Podcast episode titled "A cryptocurrency conversation."