Watch out R3, another US-based consortium is waking up to the potential uses of blockchain.

George Peabody, partner at Glenbrook Partners

George Peabody, partner at Glenbrook Partners

CULedger, a collaborative effort among Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Best Innovation Group, the Mountain West Credit Union Association, PSCU and other industry partners are examining blockchain with a view to piloting applications.

The organisations and Glenbrook Partners, a consulting and research firm, have collaborated on a white paper “Blockchain and the Credit Union: The Asset Transfer Revolution”.

George Peabody, partner at Glenbrook Partners, says blockchain “may function as an asset custodian, improve record keeping, support remittance and settlement functions, and even automate contracts”.

He adds: “While these are early days in blockchain technology development, the emerging applications based on this new approach could alter how assets of many kinds are transferred and tracked. It’s time to pay attention.”

Glenbrook Partners interviewed credit union leaders from across the US to build a roadmap for each topic. The resulting discussions found a “significant awareness” of blockchain and “much ongoing dialogue” about the technology’s applicability to the credit union industry.

We’ve got company

The CULedger collective will probably be aware of New York-based R3 – who have been one step ahead in blockchain initiatives. In fact, R3 may be several steps ahead as it was founded in 2014.

Over the last few months, R3 and over 15 of its consortium member banks “successfully” completed two prototypes using distributed ledger technology for smart contracts in trade finance.

In addition, Thomson Reuters and South African heavyweight Absa joined the R3 gang.