On May 25, Gov. Pete Ricketts signed LB649, the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act, permitting banks to allow customers to deposit cryptocurrency.
Now that it is a go, Norfolk is welcoming in Telcoin, which plans to open up a charter bank in the near future, and banking on financial technology to continue to help the city grow.
"This is going to put Norfolk and Northeast Nebraska on solid footing, so that in the next 10 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 in innovation," said state Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk. "There's no question that FinTech and cryptocurrency, and digital assets, are a major, major player in the new world of innovation moving forward."
Telcoin, which is a contactless service, already has plans to begin hiring up to 10 people from Norfolk or around the area and to go from there.
"It means a lot to show not only to people around the country but also around the world, what's underneath the foundation of this, which is something that is based in a charter regulated bank in rural Nebraska. ... That gives an aura of integrity and trust that's an asset," said Paul Neuner, CEO of Telcoin. "We're ready to hire. We could hire 20 people tomorrow if all of the right people are there."
Telcoin is looking at hiring a certified public accountant and workers in the areas of human resources, banking operations and other tech positions. They are looking to hire now.
"We championed a bill that makes Nebraska and Norfolk a leader in FinTech. Telcoin, an international company, is beginning its presence here," Flood said. "These are the kinds of jobs that rural Nebraska doesn't think they're entitled to, and they're happening right here. This will be the first city in the state, likely, to have a digital aspect bank. This is an opportunity for us as a community, to find those men and women that work in FinTech, that are bright, willing to move back home and to take a job, and to have the best of both worlds. A job in FinTech, in their hometown and in their home area."
Those interested in applying may go to the company’s website at telco.in.
The Telcoin app is already out and ready for use, but it could take up to 18 months for Telcoin to have a charter bank established in Norfolk.
Telcoin is about a year and a half away from operating in Norfolk, but being able to operate in Norfolk it is part of its long-term plan, which will then provide job opportunities for people around Norfolk and Northeast Nebraska.
"Norfolk is open for business, we are a leader in FinTech and we are ready," Flood said.