Yesterday Western Union tweeted "Bring on the blockchain" and said they're ready to add cryptocurrencies, should it be needed.
Do you agree that this sounds absurd?
Western Union has been delivering a necessary service when there was no other way for people to send money from A to B, for example to someone who didn't have a bank account. Sadly they take advantage of the fact that they are "the only option" for some people, by charging incredibly high fees. Sometimes apparently up to 30%.
Now that cryptocurrencies are on the rise, where all we need is a wallet - no matter where we are in the world - we do have alternatives, though, and we do not need services like Western Union anymore.
This is the whole purpose of cryptocurrencies. This is the whole point of "removing the middle men" and "banking the unbanked" - the 2 billion people who have no access to bank accounts or any financial services. Many of these people are the recipients of Western Union money transfers, since Western Union's main use case is for worker remittances - where people send money home to their families, often in development countries.
Cryptocurrencies solve the problem that Western Union represents
Of course there will be a transition time. Many people still write letters today, decades after email has been introduced. Maybe mostly for nostalgic reasons. But the same kind of nostalgia won't exists when it comes to money. Not if it comes with a price tag of 30%.
In fact, the transition time will be very short, I believe - especially in development countries where crypto is solving an actual real-world-problem right now - a problem that Western Union is now part of, ever since the internet came around. What used to be a solution before internet and digitalisation, is now a problem that needs solving.
Cryptocurrencies solve the problem that Western Union represents. Western Union must know this. The arrogance with which they say "We're ready" sounds to me like a weak slogan just for their shareholders. The truth is, though, Western Union's days are numbered. I doubt they're ready for what's coming for them.
See the difference in one meme
The DASH community responded very promptly to the Tweet of Western Union and showed how much faster and cheaper sending money with Dash is:
Nobody is too big to fail
This is one of those tweets that I will save for the future. Let's say in 5 years time.
Let's see what the world looks like by then.
Let's see where Western Union will be by then. Oh, for sure they will have a blockchain. But will they still have a large market share?
I can't wait to see the future :)