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The Cryptocurrency Moment and Your Community FI

Is your community financial institution in the dollar business, or the money business?

We’re curious, do you have a feverish case of cryptosis or are you full no-coiner? Have you gone Lambo yet? Which project do you think is going to moon next? Is SHIB the DOGE killer, or vaporware? Are you part of the “1 Million Club” or the “21 Million Club?” Oh, so you’re not stacking whole BTC; are you at least scraping together Sats (Satoshis)? Are you a ‘BTC Maxi,’ or are you bagging AltCoins? Are you Team Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, both? What wallets do you use; hardware, software, DEX? Do you own your keys? You staking? What kind of gains you getting? Are you HODLing or FOMOing? You buying or selling this FUD? What’s your take on The Flippening?

A new language has emerged within the world of finance. We live in an era of a revised grammar of banking and an expanded lexicon for financial services products. Our industry, once devoted to ‘financial literacy,’ is in urgent need of tutoring lessons, translators, and guides; in danger of being perceived as illiterate and impoverished in new worlds of digital commerce and decentralized assets.

A prominent 20th Century philosopher once warned, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Which ‘banking’ language does your local financial institution speak? Is your credit union learning the new language of trade and commerce, expanding and connecting your institution and community to the new world; or are you relegating yourself to the Dollar dialect of banking?

The rising risk of a new lingua franca of finance is no longer merely a matter of DaLand CUSO opinion. In July, 2021, The NCUA (finally) issued an RFI concerning crypto and digital assets. It seems even the ‘guardians’ of our industry are intrigued by this new consumer currency as they barter, trade, and collect wealth outside the sanctioned, centralized systems of the 19th and 20th Century. What opportunities and innovation might we glean from these odd currency traders, especially in an era of institutional distrust, if only we learn to speak their language and ‘accept’ their coins!?

While our industry only officially engaged with crypto/digital assets in 2021, DaLand has been heralding the significance of this moment for many years. As extensively contemplated in our own business strategy, product designs, and communications, this shift to digital assets will not proceed at the comfortable, glacial pace of legislation and bureaucratic reaction (with which an entire industry is perhaps too comfortable and dependent). Worse, the "rapid" speed of this digital transformation of money, commerce, and community is relative to the point in time when we started warning about this day - 2018. Now, "rapid" can be replaced with immanent. Hundreds of millions of dollars of institutional (bank/Wall Street/corporate) capital have flooded into crypto markets in the past 14 months. Consumer expectations for non-traditional financial services has already shifted dramatically and will continue to accelerate faster than we imagine (but, likely not as fast as our consumers and communities will need!). Local financial institutions must, in these moments, reorient strategically and operationally to ensure they are positioned to remain in the money business (not simply the Dollar business). As these new networks of monetary exchange and wealth storage gain popularity and become further engrained in their commercial (industrial) use cases, traditional dollar-directed institutions are likely to find themselves unable to speak to innovators and business operators using (literal) new coinage and a new financial language!

DaLand’s encouragement to you, our valued partner is: (1) continue to converse with us at your upcoming planning session about the qualitative and quantitative difference between events like this as multi-year strategic initiatives vs. operational objectives, and (2) persist in your efforts to identify opportunities to modernize your operation and introduce NEW interactions and VALUE ADD digital engagements (data use and collection channels) with consumers in your community.

What is critical today is that these opportunities are not pushed into the future in favor of legacy priorities. So, what is your organizations’ plan for cryptocurrency and digital assets?

Fortunately, our strategy and product road map at DaLand has anticipated this eventuality, going back to our formation as the industry's only Next-Gen CUSO. Unfortunately, conversations with clients are often misinterpreted through comfortable, archaic languages of like developing alternatives to the existing industry paradigms (ITM alternative, OLB alternative, Mobile alternative, in-branch kiosk alternative, project management alternative, etc.). Sure, all our partners should focus on replacing their legacy platforms with digital solutions which allow them to truly control and use data within their core. Still, our “next-gen” thinking extends well beyond online, mobile, self-service kiosks, and has anticipated these moments where your institution will be able to do more than swap out a platform. So much more than that, this present generation of FI leaders can launch truly new products and services not seen since the 1990s (internet banking), or 1970s (electronic transactions).

Our hope for you, our partner, from a place of great respect for the freedom and flourishing only your local institution can bring to consumers, and communities, is this: in these historic moments, in these crucial years of digital transformation, let your strategy be more than platform projects and tweaks to legacy products. May you not wait to mimic true innovators and tread only the bare and boring roads sanctioned by regulators. Travel NOW to ‘new villages’ and learn new banking and finance languages!

If you need a translator, a guide, or tools for said journey, we’re here to help.

Reach out to us....Money is morphing, we’ve seen new worlds where USD$ are not dead, and yet do not define the dialect. We’re building new tools to let you, the inhabitants of the NACHA/EFT empire, travel lesser known realms of cryptocurrency, digital assets, NFTs, decentralized finance, etc. We’re readying solutions to ensure your financial institution can remain at the epicenter of commerce, even if that means your consumers want to deposit something other than dollars, or borrow against ‘fake money’ (and we even believe in a moment where those kinds of misconceptions will be laughable relics of history).

This is an influential moment in our industry and our goal in partnership with you is to converse and collaborate around these types of strategic opportunities to design and deploy operations and digital solutions which weave your organization into our emerging digital future.

Until such time as you might reach out, given the urgency of these moments and the pressing nature of learning a new language to avoid being relegated to an old world, we thought we’d leave you with a few articles and videos we’ve collected from our journeys in recent years. We look forward to journeying with you, soon.

  1. "Money is Morphing" -

  2. "Communities and Cryptocurrency" -

  3. "Profit in the Post-Apocalyptic Community Retail Economy"

  4. "Coronavirus, Community Economies, Advance in Payments"

  5. "Reopening of America (Local FI Strategy for Relevance)" -

  6. "Crypto Banking is Happening" -

  7. "Death of Cash by Coronavirus" -

  8. "Crypto Wallets, Savings Bonds, and the FI Desert In-Between" -

  9. "Your FI and Digital Currenty" -

  10. "A Couple Trillion Reasons to Get Seriou about Cryptocurrency and Control of Data" -

  11. "Test and Decentralized Value Creation" -

  12. The Crypto Moment and Your FI -

  13. Is Crypto the Language of Financial Literacy -

  14. "Is Your Credit Union Ready for 'T' Time" -

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