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A group of U.S. credit unions looking to pool resources considered the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains to track their business, but wound up selecting something else entirely: hashgraph.

Hashgraph, like Bitcoin blockchain, is a distributed ledger, a decentralized online record of transactions that can be accessed by multiple parties. Once it launches a public ledger version, promoters say, hashgraph should be a faster, cheaper alternative to the blockchain, but the very features that can make the older system slower and costlier are also the ones that attracted investors in the first place.

Can the security, efficiency, and speed of blockchain technology be as transformative to business and individuals as the internet?  Some analysts see blockchain having the power to reorder and transform everyday transactions for both businesses and individuals.

This year I will celebrate my 38th year in credit unions. The year I began my career as a teller at Pacific NW FCU in Portland, Oregon Jimmy Carter was the president. The Consumer Checking Account Equity Act had just been passed allowing credit union members to access their share balances by writing drafts on their accounts. Mortgage rates were at their all-time high of 17% in an attempt for the Federal Reserve to wage a war on inflation. NACUSO hadn’t been formed yet. Every State still had their own trade association. Mergers were unheard of. There was no such thing as a smartphone, or mobile banking or P2P payments. It all revolved around the branch, cash for P2P payments and the good old US Postal Service.

An article in the October issue of Wyoming Business Report highlights the fraud prevention potential of CULedger, a credit union consortium supported by the efforts of CUNA and the Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA).