Western Union Ponders Cryptocurrency, Ripple Tests Are Still Going On

Western Union says they “will be ready” to add cryptocurrencies. However, Global Money Transfer President Odilon Almeida doesn’t think the industry is there yet.


Western Union is one of the world’s leading non-bank money transmission company. WU elaborated that its cautious but bullish view of the future of cryptocurrencies, as a means of worldwide money transmission. In an interview with Reuters Plus, Odilon Almeida stated the company is in perfect position to benefit from the cryptocurrency movement. He said

Cryptocurrency might become one more option for a way for assets to be exchanged between people and countries. If that happens we would be ready to launch.

Also he explained that cryptocurrency needs to master three things: governance, compliance and volatility. As Western Union is already equipped to solve such variables, it moves money across 130 currencies and devotes substantial resources to all of those three challenges.  Almeida differentiates between cryptocurrency and blockchain saying that the former has a lot of potential. Also the company claims that

There are many potential applications for the financial services sector, and WU is investing in finding those that best meet our platform.

Furthermore clarified that WU partnered with Ripple Labs to test whether transferring payments via blockchain was faster and less expensive. But says “the tests are ongoing”. Also Almeida further elaborates that when asked if Western Union will introduce a digital currency, he says it is already done a decade ago. And that WU is ready to adopt any kind of currency.  WU already operates over 130 currencies. If one day WU feels that this is the right strategy to introduce cryptocurrencies, technically, they would introduce one more currency.

Usually there are two elements to cryptocurrency. First is the digital currency and second is the Blockchain Technology. Almeida adds to it saying it may not be a good reach for WU to add cryptocurrency to customer options. This is because WU has already been transferring money digitally since two decades.

Earlier in June, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek said he won’t participate in cryptocraze. And also that he won’t join until these currencies are widely used. Speaking about the ongoing tests with Ripple Labs, WU stated that they had not seen a benefit from Ripple technology since six months. Till date it is uncertain that if in the upcoming days Western Union will enable the services. However with the growing adoption of crypto users, it is possible that this idea may become a reality.

What are your thoughts, will WU enable cryptocurrency and blockchain services? Share your thoughts on our Twitter and Facebook pages. 

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Disclaimer : The opinion expressed here is not investment advice – it is provided for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Coinpedia. Every investment and trading involves risk, so you should always perform your own research prior to making decisions. We do not recommend investing money you cannot afford to lose.

Qadir AK

Qadir Ak is the founder of Coinpedia. He has over a decade of experience writing about technology and has been covering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2010. He has also interviewed a few prominent experts within the cryptocurrency space.

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