- In a video posted to their YouTube page, Western Union’s head of Global money transfer confirmed that the firm is exploring the use of blockchain technology
- It was also mentioned that the firm is working on a pilot with Ripple
In a video on their official YouTube page, money transfer giant Western Union has expressed an interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
In the video titled ‘Blockchain and Cryptocurrency’, it is mentioned that Odilon Almeida, head of Global money transfer at Western Union has been exploring blockchain technology to ‘stay ahead of the game.’
“This technology has a lot of applications,” he says, “you’re going to see a lot more use of this technology going forward.”
To have a digital currency that is widely accepted, three things are needed according to Almeida, which are volatility, governance, and compliance. He feels that certain currencies have solved their volatility problem by pegging their value to a currency like a dollar. As for governance and compliance, he says, there is still work to be done.
Western Union is currently working on a pilot with Ripple to ‘see if it will make us more efficient’
With the number of new cryptocurrencies being launched, there has been a talk of Western Union potentially launching its own.
However, Almeida says that has already been done. According to him, when a customer makes a transaction with Western Union, they are given a number that allows them to access funds in over 200 countries where Western Union operates.
Many times, when a firm the size of Western Union begins looking into cryptocurrency and blockchain, the operation is kept under wraps and the interest isn’t confirmed until and product, service or partnership is to be launched.
Someone so high ranking in Western Union speaking out so openly about their interest in blockchain is a sign of confidence, which was further reiterated when Almeida said that Western Union is willing to embrace cryptocurrency.
“We already handle over 130 currencies worldwide.” He says, “technology-wise, it’s just another currency.”
A firm like Western Union embracing cryptocurrency will give it a level of exposure and acceptance never seen before.
Western Union operates in over 200 countries and has over half a million locations in those counties.
While this news is exciting, only time will reveal what the new pilot is about.