Western Union Pilots Coinbase Integration

Western Union Pilots Coinbase Integration

Western Union, a well-known company that sends money online and in person, is reportedly trialing an integration with digital currency exchange Coinba

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Western Union, a well-known company that sends money online and in person, is reportedly trialing an integration with digital currency exchange Coinbase, as coindesk.com reported.

While speaking to coindesk.com, the CTO at Western Union, David Thompson, said that the project was started last fall. At the moment, it is being tested with the company`s employees, but there is no launch date set yet.

However, Thompson explained that the project doesn`t concern digital currency transaction. It is said to focus on the back-end for fiat transfers, according to the article.

“Until digital currencies become regulated and integrated into the law, we are not going to include that on the platform. Our regulators are quite direct with us; it’s not something they are [allowing us] to enable.”, as he said.

The remittance company has previously expressed interest in studying the applications of blockchain technology. A few years ago they worked on a pilot with Ripple. The latter was not realized, but the team was still fixed on the possible uses of the technology.

As Thompson told coindesk.com, Western Union`s app now integrates with about 2 billion bank accounts. Standardizing bank integrations is possible thanks to the use of blockchain technology.

Another use case is a blockchain-based know-your-customer (KYC) compliance pilot that focuses on reducing compliance costs, which can reach about $240m a year at the moment.

Western Union is also studying how the technology could possibly be used for real-time settlement that integrates smart contracts for import/export transactions and alternative payments, according to the report. It is speculated whether alternative payment types can one day include digital currencies. As Thompson commented, that may happen “over time as changes are made in regulation around the world”.

In theory, digital currency regulation advances. Still, it should be seen how (if at all) it would happen in practice.

Disclosure by coindesk.com: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of DCG, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.

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