Don’t expect Western Union to add crypto option anytime soon
U.S. financial services giant Western Union will not be adding a cryptocurrency transfer option to its arsenal anytime soon. This was confirmed by CEO Hikmet Ersek at a recent event in New York, Market Watch reported.
In his speech at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday, the Western Union chief said customers still are overwhelmingly in favour of fiat currency, given the broad usability of cold and hard assets such as cash. This has been the major problem, with cryptocurrencies struggling to be adopted in the major financial markets. Additionally, banks have been overtly hostile to cryptocurrencies in general.
“Consumers are telling us what they want,” Ersek told the audience. “People certainly aren’t paying any of their hospital bills in crypto yet.”
Fiat currencies, like the U.S. dollar, euro and the Japanese yen, will continue to have an upper hand over cryptocurrencies because, according the Western Union executive, central banks are unlikely to give their control over their local tender and shift to a digital and decentralized alternative. The cold hard fact, Ersek said, is that “nations are built on flags, constitution, borders and currencies.”
It’s worth noting that Western Union had previously been positive about adopting XRP in the past and had also set up a team to explore the possibility of using the cryptocurrency to facilitate its money transfer business.
Cryptocurrencies were created with the aim of liberalizing transactions through peer-to-peer electronic payments. And traditional banking has found that its days are number given the steady growth of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash in particular. Its underlying technology promises to cut out the middleman—along with their outrageous fees—and help secure transactions using a distributed ledger system, resulting in decentralized transactions with relatively low fees.
The lack of central exchange is putting many governments in a bind, resulting in regulations that seek to stifle the growth of the cryptocurrency sector. Experts, however, believe sensible regulation is needed to give virtual currency providers room to act, and also pave the way for industry stakeholders to try educate regulators and legislators that there are other types of financial services out there that could change how people, businesses, and money operate.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.
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