Western Union makes a U-turn on cryptocurrencies

  • The company does not exclude the possibility of using digital assets.
  • WN is testing Ripple's technology.

The head of Western Union Global Money Transfer Odilon Almeida admitted that the company may add cryptocurrencies to its portfolio. At least this option is not excluded. Speaking in the interview with Reuters, he said that there was no big difference between digital currencies and traditional digital payments processed by the company.

"We already operate with 130 currencies. If one day we feel like it is the right strategy to introduce cryptocurrencies to our platform, technology-wise, it's just one more currency. I think cryptocurrencies may become one more option of currency or assets around the globe to be exchanged between people and businesses. If that happens, we would be ready to launch," he said.

The WN executive explained that high volatility, lack of governance and compliance prevent digital currencies from being adopted on a scale. In general. these comments signal a pivot in Western union's stance towards crypto, as back in June company’s CEO Hikmet Ersek said that the company would not add a cryptocurrency to its services anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Western Union has been testing Ripple's payment solution to see if blockchain allows processing transactions faster and cheaper. Successful results of the tests may encourage the company to deploy Ripple' solution in commercial operations. Even though the company wants to use the technology, not the coin itself, the adoption will send the market a positive signal.


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