Crypto


Your Partner in the Evolution of Crypto

As the cryptocurrency, or “crypto,” marketplace evolves and interest grows, credit unions should monitor the landscape to evaluate potential engagement. At PSCU, we stand ready to partner with you to provide compliant opportunities for you to engage in this space as your members’ demands accelerate and you assess the risk to enter this space.

Understanding both the opportunities and risks associated with cryptocurrency will position your credit union at the forefront of this new financial movement.

Hear From Our Experts

PSCU provides relevant and practical thought leadership on cryptocurrency and its place in the financial landscape. Several blogs are available to give you a more robust understanding of this topic and position your credit union to make the most of this trend.

Resources for Your Credit Union

Our subject matter experts are dedicated to providing insightful content to keep your credit union informed and help educate your staff and board members. Access cutting-edge thought leadership including a downloadable video and white paper to set your credit union and members up to potentially take advantage of the cryptocurrency landscape.

Complete the form below to gain access to valuable information and actionable steps to educate your credit union on this quickly evolving topic.

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Crypto Resources

We have curated some of the best sources of information about cryptocurrency as it relates to the credit union industry to assist you in your evaluation and development of your plans.

NCUA Letter
December 2021

Learn more about NCUA regulations associated with digital assets.

Learn More
NCUA Letter
May 2022

Learn more about credit union use of distributed ledger technologies.

Learn More
Federal Reserve White Paper -
Money and Payments

Learn more about the monetary policy for a central bank digital currency.

Learn More
Federal Reserve Bank of
Boston White Paper

Discover results from a multi-year project on central bank digital currency.

Download

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange that is digital, encrypted and decentralized. Unlike the U.S. dollar (USD) or the euro, there is no central authority that manages and maintains the value of a cryptocurrency. Instead, these tasks are broadly distributed among a cryptocurrency's users via the internet.

Decentralized

  • Publicly traded (Ex: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Dogecoin)
  • Value of each coin is determined by supply and demand
  • No owner
  • No central management
  • No asset that backs up value
  • Primarily a speculative investment
  • Fluctuating value makes merchant acceptance difficult
  • Exchanges pose a risk; scams are skyrocketing
  • Regulation may be forthcoming
  • Holder is responsible for IRS reporting of profits on appreciation of asset
  • “ATMs” allow purchase of cryptocurrency from debit card or cash
  • Available on PayPal, Venmo, Cash App

Stablecoins

  • Developed to solve the difficulty of spending cryptocurrency or converting funds held in cryptocurrencies for payments by maintaining a constant valuation
  • Only volatility is that of the underlying asset (Ex: Tether, USD Coin, Pax)
  • Pegged to the U.S. dollar (or price of gold, or other fiat), limits volatility
  • Primarily intended for purchase or money-movement transactions
  • Structured like bearer instruments
  • Visa allows settlement in USD Coin
  • Enables Decentralized Finance (DeFi) economy
  • Regulation has been proposed

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

  • Issued by The Fed or Fed’s equivalent in other countries
  • China near completion of massive trial; threatens USD global dominance
  • Fed released white paper with MIT, showing feasibility of a platform for its CBDC (Project Hamilton)
  • Fed released a policy paper seeking public comment (open through May 20, 2022)
  • Will have the most impact on banking

  • First, discuss with the board. Does the board have the appetite to take on the costs and, more importantly, the risks associated with crypto?
  • Second, be sure your Chief Compliance Officer is prepared for the due diligence required for using third parties to offer digital asset-related services. Any potential services should be discussed with the credit union’s NCUA examiner. Additionally, discuss with your credit union’s advocacy group, whether it's the state league, CUNA, CUES, NAFCU, NASCUS ¬– get some meaningful dialogue going in these channels.
  • Third, start tracking deposits flowing into and out of the exchanges from your members’ share accounts. You may be surprised how many transactions are occurring by your members to buy and sell crypto.
  • Fourth, follow the news. This is an area that is quickly evolving, with news coming out weekly, if not daily. Appoint a group of staff that has shown an interest in this area to meet weekly, and assemble a communication with recent developments, links to news and a sentence or two to explain the relevancy to credit unions or members of your team.
  • Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, even if your credit union is not going to do anything in the crypto space, many members are already buying, holding and speculating in crypto. So providing education on both the risks and existing scams is critically important.

  • We continuously monitor the regulatory environment and are committed to providing ongoing thought leadership and education for our Owner credit unions as the landscape continues to evolve.
  • We have partnered with Bakkt, a cryptocurrency exchange, in conjunction with our PSCU loyalty program. Through this partnership, cardholders have the opportunity to redeem points earned for a gift card with Bakkt, which they can then use to redeem as cryptocurrency, once they register with the exchange.
  • PSCU is exploring a proof of concept to integrate with cryptocurrency exchanges via APIs to provide a view of a member’s crypto wallet through our digital tools – DX Mobile, Data eXchange, Lumin Digital. We will share more information once we learn more about this potential opportunity.
  • We are working with our partners (including Mastercard, Visa and Fiserv) as they develop their plans to be part of the transaction if/when using crypto at the point of sale becomes a reality – or, converting crypto to fiat currency for POS purchases. Right now, crypto is by and large an investment play, but we expect this may evolve in the future.

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