Western Union CEO Says Company is Prepared to Add Cryptocurrencies When It's Necessary

Western Union, the leading international money transfer service provider, recently released a video in which it noted that the company is “uniquely positioned to connect the cash and digital world.”

“On-Ramp & Off-Ramp For Global Money Movement”

Western Union’s video explained that the giant money transfer service currently has access to “billions of bank accounts” throughout the world and also works with “over half a million retail agent locations.” This allows Western Union to work as an “on-ramp and off-ramp for global money movement.”

Commenting on how the company is prepared to integrate cryptocurrencies to their cross-border payment platform, Odilon Almeida, the president of Western Union, remarked:

Western Union is ready today to adopt any kind of currency. We already work with 130 currencies. When we feel it’s the right time to introduce cryptocurrencies to our platform … technology-wise, it’s just one more currency. I think cryptocurrency 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 [introduce them on out platform].

“Still Don’t Understand Blockchain?”

In response to Almeida’s explanation, a Twitter user named jas (@a1mk3) noted:

You're not transferring money, you're digitally updating a ledger on a sender & receiver side, so a prefunded account can transfer local Fiat. Still don't understand blockchain by now?

Although it’s true that Western Union’s current money transfer platform does not use blockchain technology, the company has been providing a reliable and effective service for many decades.

Regardless of what specific technology is being used to accomplish a particular task, the end result is what users will be concerned about. In this case, funds are being transferred from one party to another and what's important is how much the transaction costs, and how long it takes for the payment to go through. Whether blockchain is used to complete money transfers is irrelevant to most.

When we connect to the internet, we may be using the best fiber-optic technology and the latest communications protocols and standards. However, that’s not something the end-user is generally interested in. The consumers are busy doing other real-world things, which the underlying technology has made easier and more practical.

As CryptoGlobe reported in early October, Daniel Larimer, the chief technical officer (CTO) at Block.one, a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-focused firm, had said:

When people start making things easier, when blockchain actually makes people’s lives easier and more secure, that’s when it’ll get widespread adoption.

Not Recognizing Revolutionary Technology When You See It?

Paradigm-changing technologies don’t come along every day. However, those who don't realize that a particular innovation will change the way business or other social activities are conducted in the future may pay a heavy price for their ignorance.

Interestingly, Twitter user mystery x pointed out that back in 2000, the CEO of Blockbuster, a company that offered a wide variety DVD rentals with numerous store locations across America, had rejected a $50 million offer from Netflix. The creator of Netflix wanted to sell his company to Blockbuster for what may now be considered an absurdly good offer as Netflix’s market capitalization has now exceeded $32 billion.

Because Blockbuster's managment did not embrace new technology, the company's stores had to shut down. The firm's CEO and board members failed to realize that “streaming videos” and “on-demand live video content” would be in very high demand in the future. Whether or not this is the case with blockchain technology and payments, is something only time will tell.