In February of this year, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek confirmed that his company was indeed experimenting with Ripple’s products for settling transactions and capital optimisation. This came a month after Ripple, which is striving to become the top-name in global money transfers, announced several high-profile partnerships including the potential tie in with Western Union’s rival, Moneygram.
This would seem to be great news for Ripple, the parent company of digital asset XRP. However, in early July, Ersek seemed to indicate that he wasn’t happy with the cost implications of using XRP, as he had been expecting to make bigger savings and see more efficiency improvements. Ripple's senior vice president of product, Asheesh Birla, responded by saying: “If they were to move volume at scale, then maybe you would see something, but with 10 [transactions], it’s not surprising that they’re not seeing cost savings. They do millions of transactions a month, and I’m not surprised that with 10 transactions it didn’t have earth-shattering results.”
Western Union have now filed for a patent for an application that utilises cryptocurrency, but there is no mention of Ripple or XRP. Some have stated that this is bad news for Ripple, and are worried about their investments in XRP. However, the simple fact that companies as large and well established as Western Union are investing heavily and even looking to patent crypto-networks shows that investing in cryptocurrency is not only a smart thing to do, but it’s where the future is heading.
The relationship with Western Union and Ripple is barely six months old, and Western Union won’t want to limit themselves to one cryptocurrency; that’s just good business sense. But with such a high interest in blockchain solutions and how they can be applied for future technology, Ripple and XRP’s future is looking bright, along with the rest of the cryptocurrency world.