US credit unions have created a collaborative venture to explore blockchain operation and pilot potentially useful applications.

The consortium, known as CuLedger, is collaboration between the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Best Innovation Group, Mountain West Credit Union Association, PSCU and other industry partners.

The consortium is currently raising funds from credit unions and backers for research and development. The legal structure of the consortium has not been decided yet.

PSCU president and CEO Chuck Fagan said: “The collaborative effort of the credit unions, industry advocates and partners involved in the CULedger initiative represents the most appropriate approach to achieving greater efficiencies in areas that are central to credit unions’ core business interests.”

PSCU has joined forces with consulting and research firm Glenbrook Partners to publish a white paper on the potential of blockchain technology for credit unions.

Commenting on the potential of blockchain, Glenbrook Partners partner George Peabody said: “It may function as an asset custodian, improve record keeping, support remittance and settlement functions, and even automate contracts.

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“While these are early days in blockchain technology development, the emerging applications based on this new approach could alter how assets of many kinds are transferred and tracked.”