RFI seeks credit unions’ input on digital assets, related technologies

Input on potential and current impacts of the use of digital assets and related technologies – or, said another way, the impacts of distributed ledger technology (DLT, such as blockchain) and decentralized finance (DeFi) – is sought through a request for information issued Thursday by credit unions’ federal regulator.

The RFI, released for a 60-day comment period by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board, seeks input regarding the current and potential impacts of activities connected to digital assets and related technologies on federally insured credit unions (FICUs), related entities, and the NCUA.

“The NCUA is broadly interested in receiving input on commenters’ views in this area, including current and potential uses in the credit union system, and the risks associated with them,” the agency said in its notice for the Federal Register.

The RFI poses 26 questions – a couple of them multi-part – addressing:

  • use of DLT and DeFi applications within the credit union system;
  • development of such projects with third-party relationships or credit union service organizations (CUSOs);
  • risk and compliance management;
  • supervision, including whether and how regulation should be revised to address such activities; and
  • share insurance and resolution – including, among other things, how to distinguish between uninsured digital assets and insured shares.

Regarding share insurance and resolution, the RFI also seeks input on the distinctions or similarities between stablecoins and stored value products, and the availability of pass-through share insurance; and the complexities the NCUA may face during the resolution process or conservatorship in valuing, marketing, transferring, operating, or resolving a DeFi activity.

Comments will be due 60 days after the RFI’s publication in the Federal Register.

Request for Information and Comment on Digital Assets and Related Technologies (Notice for Federal Register)