Western Union and Bitcoin

According to the BitcoinBlogger, Western Union is monitoring developments in the Bitcoin space and is, so far, noncommittal about any plans to venture into the virtual currency environment.  http://bitcoinblogger.com/western-union-finally-comments-bitcoins-status/  However, if one reads between the lines and observes the overall financial industry response to Bitcoin, money services businesses (MSBs) such as Western Union are carefully weighing the risks and benefits of entering the virtual currency environment.

It’s likely that such MSBs will stay out of the fray until the federal government sets forth a clearer regulatory framework for virtual currencies.  After all, as it stands now, MSBs are at best, on shaky ground in maintaining their banking relationships.  Banks are leery of the AML/BSA compliance programs of many “brick and mortar” MSBs and would hardly welcome forays by the likes of Western Union into the virtual currency environment absent clear AML/BSA regulations being put into place. So far, though the government has been studying the environment and holding hearings, such regulations have not yet been forthcoming.

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