Western Union testing Blockchain for payments, examines crypto for future launch

In what can be seen as a positive development for the cryptocurrencies, Odilon Almeida, president of the Western Union Global Money Transfer, said that the company is ready to adopt any kind of currency transfer including the cryptocurrencies in its portfolio if a need arises. The Almedia said this in an interview with Reuters Plus on December 17.

Revival hope for Crypto market?
The top echelon of the company claimed that there is no big difference between the regular digital payments and the one that involves cryptocurrency. As the company is dealing in transaction business for years now, it has developed sufficient expertise and infrastructure to handle almost any kind of digital payment. The top executive of the company sounds confident about the launch of a new currency transaction system in the long-term including the likes of the blockchain-based digital coins. Reflecting on the large-scale operations of the company dealing in 130 different currencies, Almeida said that if they feel that the time is right to introduce cryptocurrency-based transactions, they will launch it. Technically speaking, it will be one more addition to the list of currencies the company is dealing in. He opined that in the future cryptocurrencies may be used for payments and business transactions, and then if the need arises, the company will launch the cryptocurrency-based transaction system.

Challenges for Digital Coins
Having said that, Almeida also touched upon the challenge’s cryptocurrencies have to overcome before they are able to achieve the status of mass adoption. He stated that volatility, compliance, and governance are the key problems hindering the prospects of digital currencies. The Crypto market is already going through a lot of volatility and it is increasingly becoming difficult, even for the experts, to rightly anticipate what is going to happen next. Similarly, compliance with the various regulatory authorities needs to be achieved if the cryptocurrency wants to acquire a global status in the transaction system. While some governments have adopted a soft stance towards crypto by allowing the transactions in the digital coins, others like China and India have completely banned the use of digital currencies in their countries. The key executive also suggested that the problem of volatility can be overcome by linking digital coins with some strong currency such as the US dollar.

Blockchain Technology Trials for a transaction
In addition to the cryptocurrency, the Western Union is also exploring the use of blockchain technology for its digital transactions. The company has already joined hands with Ripple and tests are underway to find whether sending the payments using blockchain Technology is fast and less costly than its current payment method. If results come out to be positive, it would be another key success for blockchain technology and perhaps for the crypto market too.

Change of mind
This positive stance of the Western Union towards the cryptocurrencies has come as a surprise for many observers as in June earlier this year, the chief executive officer of the company, Hikmet Ersek, bluntly denied the possibility of adding cryptocurrency transfer in its portfolio anytime soon in future. But now, it seems that the company has completely changed its mind with its President striking a very optimistic note on both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

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