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Dunedin credit union first in Florida to launch crypto services app

Achieva Credit Union will let members trade, buy and sell Bitcoin on their phones.
An employee's Shih Tzu named Bear, walks through the lobby at Achieva Credit Union in Land O'Lakes on Oct. 20, 2021. Achieva on Tuesday launched a new app offering cryptocurrency services.
An employee's Shih Tzu named Bear, walks through the lobby at Achieva Credit Union in Land O'Lakes on Oct. 20, 2021. Achieva on Tuesday launched a new app offering cryptocurrency services. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jun. 8|Updated Jun. 8

Dunedin’s Achieva Credit Union is getting into the crypto game.

The credit union on Tuesday launched a new app offering cryptocurrency services, including the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin, making it the first credit union in Florida to do so.

Achieva partnered with Bitcoin trading company NYDIG, which specializes in working with banks, credit unions and other traditional financial institutions. The company last year completed a $1 billion fundraising round, bringing its valuation to $7 billion.

While Achieva members could previously make Bitcoin trades on third-party apps, integrating the process into the credit union’s own app will give members easier access, Achieva’s chief digital and infrastructure officer Tracy Ingram said.

Over the past year, Achieva saw members trading $2.6 million in cryptocurrency through third-party apps, according to Ingram.

“They’ll come in, they’ll call and ask, ‘What are we doing? What should we look at?’” Ingram said. “There’s a lot of consumers out there who are crypto-curious, and that’s no different for our members. They’re really looking for information and education about, ‘What is cryptocurrency? How does it all work?’”

Bitcoin transactions via the app come with a 2% service fee, and Achieva notes that crypto holdings or transactions are not guaranteed by the National Credit Union Administration, which is similar to banks’ Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Related: Crypto firm CoinFlip opening Tampa 'experience center' at Sparkman Wharf

It’s been a rocky spring for the cryptocurrency industry, Bitcoin included. The value of many cryptocurrencies and stablecoins has plummeted since last fall, with Bitcoin’s value dropping by more than half since November. NYDIG only works with Bitcoin at this point, but they’re looking at expanding, Ingram said.

In the buildup to the app’s release, Achieva gave employees $10 to purchase Bitcoin as part of an education and training initiative, with NYDIG kicking in another $5. In the app’s initial rollout, members can get $5 in Bitcoin if they sign up for a crypto account through Achieva and NYDIG.

Ingram said Achieva is monitoring any potential legislation that could impose regulations on the cryptocurrency industry and will adjust its programs accordingly.

“From a compliance regulation standpoint, that’s always part of our focus, of really ensuring that we are working with those experts who know what’s coming,” she said.

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