Digital bank picks Norfolk for first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency business

NORFOLK -  Telcoin is coming to Norfolk. And they’re bringing with them a chance for northeast Nebraskans to have a local connection to cryptocurrency.

Company officials say they see it as a chance for residents to take control of their finances.

“The technology allows you to say to a consumer that we can look like a bank on the front-face,” said Telcoin founder and chairman Paul Neuner. “But the reality is that we’re helping you self-custody your assets and put your own money to work as opposed to surrendering that right to a bank.”

The framework for Telcoin to get established in Nebraska was solidified last month when Governor Pete Ricketts signed a bill prioritized by Senator Mike Flood. The bill creates a state bank charter for digital asset transactions. In short, Nebraskans will have places to deposit cryptocurrency in state-regulated banks.

Senator Flood says this makes Nebraska stand out.

“If Nebraska is going to win the next decade we need to be doing things like this,” Flood said in Norfolk on Friday. “We need to be out front.”

But it’s about more than capitalizing on the crypto craze. Telcoin needs employees in Norfolk. Neuner said as many as ten full-time employees will be hired - the kind of high-paying tech jobs that area leaders say Nebraska should be coveting.

“The entire point of growing together is to put Norfolk and northeast Nebraska on solid footing so that in the next ten years we remodel our economy to create the kinds of jobs that are going to be in sync with the emerging technologies that are going to drive growth and innovation,” Flood said.

Don’t expect to start depositing your crypto into a brick-and-mortar building any time soon, though. The regulatory framework for the bank charter still needs to be built, and state leaders say that could take at least a year.

But everyone involved says the wait will be worth it.

“It’s focused on consumers, effectively making a safe and regulated way to connect the consumer to this new world of digital assets and to decentralized financial platforms,” Neuner said.

“Norfolk is open for business,” Sen. Flood added. “We are a leader in FinTech, and we’re ready.”

Mike Flood is the owner of Flood Communications, which operates News Channel Nebraska.

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