In the recent past, many mainstream businesses have adopted cryptos due to their popularity and high demand from the public. However, Western Union will not be adding crypto transfer services in the near future, MarketWatch reports.
In a speech delivered during the Economic club of New York on Wednesday morning, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek claimed that most of the firm’s customers are in favor of fiat money over the virtual currencies because of the possibilities for broader usability of hard assets like cash. He explained:
The consumers tell us what they want. People aren’t paying their hospital bills in cryptos.
Central Bank’s Stance on Crypto
According to Ersek, another key aspect why fiat money like the US dollar, Euro and the Japanese Yen still have the upper hand compared to crypto like Bitcoin at the moment, is the conservative stance of most central banks globally. The CEO claims that central banks are unwilling to let go of their firm control of their local tenders, to adopt virtual and decentralized alternatives. He said that “nations are built on flags, constitutions, borders and currencies,” adding that no central bank home to a reserve currency is ready to consider giving up that kind of control any time soon.
Western Union has been at the forefront of campaigning against wire transfer transactions involving cryptocurrencies and the recent stance taken by the company’s head will not come as a surprise to many crypto followers. Cointelegraph reports that late last year, the money transfer giant started a campaign to discredit wire crypto transfers involving crypto exchanges, citing internal regulations. The publisher sites an anonymous Reddit user who says that the firm allegedly told cryptocurrency exchange Kraken that it was not in a position to process a transaction related to digital currencies, as it was against its internal rules.
Earlier this year, Western Union confirmed that it was exploring the potential uses of crypto like Bitcoin and similar assets. The company confirmed that it was testing transactions using Ripple’s blockchain based settlement system. Ersek said:
We are looking especially in the processing settlement and working capital optimization, also in the regulation part, on the compliance part on the blockchain capabilities.
Western Union’s move to test transactions using Ripple came weeks after fellow competitor MoneyGram announced it was also trialing Ripple payments. In recent times, major banks like Santander, UBS, Royal Bank of Canada and National Bank of Abu Dhabi have also joined Ripple’s payment system.
In the past, other financial entities like Goldman Sachs have taken a rather conservative stance on crypto, only to retract their opinons and come up with policies to support them. It will be interesting to see whether Western Union will also take that route.
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