CUNA’s Meade breaks down ‘game changer’ that is blockchain

Increased efficiency, security, and speed. These are the primary benefits credit unions could realize by coming together to develop a network based on blockchain, or shared-ledger technology.

Rich Meade, CUNA chief of staff/chief operating officer, presented the possibilities that shared-ledger technology could create for credit unions at America’s Credit Union Conference, which concluded Wednesday in Seattle. He also introduced a new initiative CUNA will undertake with the Mountain West Credit Union Association to position the credit union movement for the day that blockchain hits the mainstream.

“This isn’t just some new website, this isn’t a new app. This really is a game changer if we can make it work for credit unions,” Meade said.

At its core, shared-ledger technology creates an online system through which two parties can securely exchange information with those exchanges certified by all the organizations–called nodes–participating in the network using the technology.

It’s complex, Meade said, and takes some study to understand, but with the big banks heavily investing in it already, it’s clear that blockchain will only continue to gain traction and that credit unions need to be ready.

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