Credit Union Consortium Partners with IBM to Integrate Hyperledger Fabric

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Credit union service consortium CULedger has partnered with tech giant IBM to integrate the IT firm’s Hyperledger Fabric solution to develop “an immutable audit trail that can be used to create new business models and transform existing business processes for credit unions.”

Marking the consortium’s latest venture into private blockchains, CULedger has collaborated with IBM to develop a new solution that would provide multiple services, including identity verification, KYC compliance, as well as lending and payments. According to an announcement published Monday, the services are set to be launched “later in 2019” and will be available to CULedger members thereafter.

While the consortium has inked a partnership with Big Blue, CULedger clarified that it intends to retain its previous partnerships with other firms, including Evernym, R3, and Hedera.

As CULedger’s chief experience officer Julie Esser clarified, “we are not replacing any of the relationships that we have previously announced,” explaining that:

“The use of a specific blockchain platform will be dependent on each particular application or use case that is being developed. Our partners, such as IBM, Evernym and Sovrin, each play a role within our overall strategy and solutions.”

Esser went on elaborating how CULedger is developing solutions based on the networks comprising the consortium, that which would allow CU Ledger members to interact with each other.

For instance, the consortium is developing an identity solution for networks using the Hyperledger Indy platform developed by Evernym and contributed by the Sovrin Foundation. As for the new KYC verification system, the consortium will be leveraging on IBM’s technology.

Prior to collaborating with IBM, CULedger has also partnered with Hedera last May to integrate its Hashgraph distributed ledger technology (DLT) for cross border payments. In December, the consortium has joined R3’s global network to use its open-source Corda platform. In addition, CULedger has also worked with blockchain startup Evernym to build its identity platform MyCUID.

While the consortium isn’t building on Corda for now, Esser noted that “there is an opportunity in the future” to potentially integrate R3’s technology. As it stands, Evernym remains as one of CULedger’s key partners and has been providing MyCUID’s front-end solution. And while the consortium  “doesn’t have a specific use case at this time” for Hedera’s Hashgraph, Esser underscored that “it is still on our roadmap.”

Among the 38 member institutions comprising CuLedger, eight credit unions are already piloting a range of applications using MyCUID, including a use case for user authentication in the call center industry.

Founded in 2016 and led by the Credit Union National Association, CULedger has since managed to snag key executives in the finance industry, including MasterCard’s former executive vice president of North America markets, John Ainsworth, who now serves as the consortium’s president and CEO.

In January, CULedger has also completed a $10 million Series A funding round.