Recent cryptocurrency exchange collapses show the status quo isn't cutting it for consumers, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in The Hill.
"So how do we get the best of both worlds — to take advantage of this innovation while protecting consumers?" Nussle wrote. "The answer is twofold: 1) create a strong regulatory regime to oversee digital currencies and related activities; and 2) enable consumer-friendly institutions such as credit unions to offer digital asset services."
Nussle noted that companies involved in recent collapses are taking advantage of loopholes--gaining advantages of regulated institutions without offering the same protections.
"Congress—along with federal regulators—must ensure these companies cannot continue to operate in this manner. Laws and regulations must be designed to keep up with the continued evolution of these technologies.
He also noted that consumer protectors like credit unions should have the ability to offer crypto services to consumers in a safe way.
"White House research shows 16 percent of adults in the U.S. are engaged with cryptocurrency. CUNA’s data shows 39 percent credit union members are engaged with cryptocurrency, and 59 percent of credit union members between ages 18 and 34," Nussle wrote. "These are consumers who are interested in exploring the possibilities of digital currencies, and also trust their credit union to meet their financial needs. It’s a natural partnership."