NAFCU Steps Into Blockchain With Hyperledger

NAFCU has announced that it has become the first U.S. financial trade association to join Hyperledger. 

Hyperledger is an open-source blockchain collaboration effort hosted by the Linux Foundation. It has more than 160 members, including organizations in finance, banking and information technology, supply chains and manufacturing, NAFCU said in a press release today.

For credit unions and other financial institutions, Hyperledger will support streamlined settlement processes, improved liquidity, more transparency and better product quality, according to NAFCU. 

"We are excited to join Hyperledger and bring together a critical sector of the U.S.'s financial services industry with the world's leading technology firms, all working together in an open-source collaborative effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies," NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said in the announcement. "We believe in opportunities that harness the power of technology and open exchange to prepare for the future. Hyperledger will serve as an invaluable partner during a time when NAFCU's members are innovating to meet the industry's needs."

The Linux Foundation started Hyperledger in December 2015. It is an open-source distributed ledger framework that helps users build and operate applications, platforms and hardware systems to support business transactions.

A distributed ledger is a digital record of ownership that does not include a central administrator or central location for stored data. Commonly associated with bitcoin, where the technology is used to track the exchange of virtual currency, distributed ledgers are finding their way into other business uses.

"Hyperledger has experienced tremendous growth and development over the past two years, and we are excited to welcome NAFCU as our first financial trade association member," Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said. "We look forward to NAFCU contributing to our vibrant, active Hyperledger community and providing valuable insight to the credit union industry and how our technology can improve the way financial institutions communicate with one another." 

According to the release, NAFCU's Cybersecurity and Payments Committee and Hyperledger will discuss ways for credit unions to engage with the blockchain community.

This not the credit union industry’s first foray into blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. In August, for example, CU Ledger, which began as a proof-of-concept project led by CUNA, the Mountain West Credit Union Association, the Best Innovation Group, credit union system partners and credit unions, announced the formation of CULedger, LLC. CULedger, LLC is a CUSO offering credit unions a way to participate in shared-ledger technology.

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