Banking behemoths like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citibank are among the hundreds of financial institutions wading in to the cryptocurrency realm, however, community banks and credit unions are quickly catching up.
Wednesday, Idaho Central Credit Union – the state’s latest credit union – was the latest local financial institution to implement services that will allow members to buy and sell bitcoin within its mobile app and online banking platform. The integration is powered via the Alkami Platform and NYDIG – one of the largest crypto custody firms in the nation.
Through the platform, ICCU member will have the ability to buy, hold, sell, and manage bitcoin alongside traditional accounts via a secure base.
“ICCU is the fastest growing credit union in the state of Idaho and one of the best performing credit unions in the country. To maintain that momentum, we want to continue offering new services as part of our digital menu and deliver additional value in support of the financial goals and investment desires of our members. Fully integrated bitcoin services through NYDIG and the Alkami Platform takes us to the next level when it comes to the member experience,” said Mark Willden, chief information officer, ICCU.
In June, cloud-based banking services provider Alkami announced it was teaming up with NYDIG to provide banks and credit unions with the ability to offer digital currency functionalities under their own brand. In November, the fintech named STAR Financial Bank as its first client to empower customers with trading systems that allow the purchase, sale, and secure storage of bitcoin through its NYDIG partnership.
For Alkami, working with NYDIG is highly strategic. The crypto-based juggernaut just raised a stunning $1 billion in a funding round Tuesday that will value the firm at over $7 billion – and potentially expand bitcoin’s reach into “any industry,” CEO Robert Gutmann said in a statement to Coindesk.
And now more than ever, financial institutions of all sizes are trying to get in on the action. Approximately 13 of the world’s largest banks have been pushing roughly $3 billion in funding so far into cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, according to analytics company Blockdata.
Banks are now asking for bitcoin because they can see their customers sending dollars to Coinbase, Kraken and other crypto exchanges, according to Yan Zhao, president of NYDIG.
“ICCU’s focus on member experience and on providing a diverse array of solutions has enabled it to build a reputation as one of the nation’s leading credit unions, and its decision to implement bitcoin services through NYDIG and the Alkami Platform can supercharge that growth,” said Patrick Sells, chief innovation officer at NYDIG.
“Credit unions nationwide are eager to evolve and ensure their members have access to the promise of bitcoin, and we at NYDIG couldn’t be prouder of the role we are playing in enabling that evolution,” Sells added.