Remittance Giant Western Union Plans to Venture Into Crypto
Denver, Colorado-based remittance giant Western Union has filed several crypto-related trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis.
The company's trademark applications suggest that it possibly intends to launch a virtual currency exchange while also managing and maintaining digital currency wallets.
On top of that, Western Union might issue its own cryptocurrency token in order to compete with crypto-native companies.
Its trademark applications also cover financial brokerage services in the nature of managing and administering cryptocurrencies and related financial instruments.
It remains to be seen whether Western Union will make a foray into crypto, but its latest filings should not come as a surprise. All the way back in 2014, former Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek said that he would be open to Bitcoin if it were to be fully regulated as a currency. In 2015, his company was exploring a partnership with Ripple Labs, but it did not come to fruition.
Western Union started seeking patents for cryptocurrency transaction analysis back in March 2017. During the same year, it also teased an integration with Coinbase, which did not work out.
In April 2019, the money transfer giant teamed up with blockchain startup Coins.ph in order to make it easier for residents of the Philippines to receive remittances.
In June 2020, U.Today reported that Western Union was intending to buy former Ripple partner MoneyGram, but the partnership did not happen.Source