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CULedger Elevates CU-Member Relationship With Universal Digital Credential

CULedger is gaining distributed ledger legs with its MyCUID initiative, a consumer-focused global digital-identity solution, it expects to enhance the already trusted relationship between members and their credit unions.

“MyCUID is intended to really transform the credit union industry in providing the first universal digital credential,” Julie Esser, chief engagement officer, for CULedger, said. “This is not just a U.S. initiative. This is a global initiative.”

CULedger, a consortium of U.S. credit unions exploring potential use cases for distributed ledger technology, began in 2016 as a “research to action” initiative. Its mission aimed to deliver innovative applications in a permissioned, distributed, shared ledger platform for credit unions.

Shared-ledger technology creates an online system through which multiple certified parties can securely exchange information and conduct transactions with those exchanges certified by all the organizations, called nodes, participating in a private permissioned network using industry-leading DLT.

Several banking organizations have pilot projects to develop the use of DLT but Esser suggested CULedger is probably the most advanced in terms of its development.

CULedger differs from blockchain often used interchangeably when referring to distributed ledger technology. Blockchain, which organizes data into blocks, chained together, is one type of a distributed ledger that increasingly became associated with a permissionless, open system such as the bitcoin. “CULedger is not into cryptocurrency. We are not getting into that space at all,” Esser asserted.

Distributed ledgers use independent computers or nodes to record, share and coordinate transactions in their corresponding ledgers, instead of centralized as in a conventional ledger.

CULedger evolved into a new CUSO, which launched last summer. “We became an official company and we’re right now in the process of our private equity funding. We’re seeking $10 million in the first round to get us through the first part of our roadmap,” Esser said. She added the CULedger is more than halfway to its goal. They expect the initial round to close by November, if not sooner. Esser noted they have 25 investors and that list is growing. They hope to get around 40 investors by the conclusion of the first round.

In February CULedger announced it teamed up with DLT specialist Evernym on a digital identity system. Called MyCUID, the tool uses a person-to-person network of distributed, private agents working in parallel with the distributed ledger to give credit union members a lifetime portable digital identity.

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