- Achieva Credit Union has become the first of its kind in Florida to allow customers to purchase bitcoin.
- The functionality was released on Tuesday in a new application.
- Customer curiosity for bitcoin soared once credit unions allowed third-party services to enable bitcoin purchases.
Florida-based Achieva Credit Union became the first credit union to offer customers the ability to buy and sell bitcoins through a new app, according to a report in the US. Tampa Bay Times,
The app reportedly went live last Tuesday through a partnership with bitcoin bank NYDIG, which specializes in connecting traditional financial infrastructure to the bitcoin ecosystem.
Previously, Achiva customers were only able to trade bitcoins through third-party applications. Tracy Ingram, chief digital and infrastructure officer at Achiva, explained that integrating the service into the credit union’s proprietary app would provide a greater level of access to its customers.
In fact, according to Ingram, over the past year Achieva saw $2.6 million in third-party bitcoin transactions take place. Customer curiosity for the credit union has grown widely since these expanded services have been enabled.
“They’ll come in, they’ll call and ask, ‘What are we doing? What should we be looking for?'” Ingram explained. “There are a lot of consumers out there who are crypto-curious, and it’s no different for our members. . They are actually looking for information and education about ‘what is cryptocurrency’? How does this work?'”
Prior to the release of the new app, the credit union reportedly gave each of its employees $10 to purchase bitcoins for educational purposes in person and for training exercises in the application. NYDIG upped the ante by providing another $5 per employee.
Transactions with bitcoin on the application will incur a 2% service fee and Achieva has made it clear that bitcoin deposits are not backed up or insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
On the subject of regulation, Ingram said:
“From a compliance regulation standpoint, that’s always part of our focus, to really make sure we’re working with experts who know what’s coming.”