Western Union eyeing crypto and blockchain

Robert Hoogendoorn

Financial service Western Union has been evaluating the use of cryptocurrencies in their portfolio. The company is also exploring how to use blockchain technology to improve their service. These two points were addressed by Western Union’s president Odilon Almeida in an interview with Reuters Plus.

According to Almeida a cryptocurrency would just be another option to add to their portfolio. “If we one day feel like it’s the right strategy to introduce cryptocurrencies to our platform, technology-wise it’s just one more currency. I think cryptocurrency may become one more option of currency, or assets, around the globe to be exchanged between people and businesses. If that happens, we will be ready to launch”, he told the news agency.

Western Union isn’t jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon yet, because it’s still not mainstream enough. Volatility, governance and compliance are three blockades that stop crypto from growing further, according to the president of the financial company.

It’s not the first time Western Union is thinking about crypto. In June 2018 they did a very small test with Ripple. The ten transactions done in that test didn’t provide the financial benefit Western Union was hoping for. Yet, Almeida is optimistic about the use of Ripple and blockchain technology.

“It’s about learning. We are looking at blockchain technology and really seeing if it can make us more efficient,” he told to Reuters. Ripple is already implemented with a variety of banks. The financial blockchain solution works particularly well for cross-border payments, dropping costs for banks significantly.

Originally published at NEDEROB.

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