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sexta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2014

Will Western Union Be the First Bitcoin Casualty on Wall Street?

WU ChartWall street was abuzz with Bitcoin news this week. It started with Zynga’s low key announcement that they are now accepting the new digital currency and was quickly followed by a similar announcement from Overstock. Accepting Bitcoin is a no-brainer for public companies that want to lower payment processing fees, protect consumer privacy and expand their user base. We can expect many more large retailers to follow suit since the have
a fiduciary duty to  increase shareholder value. For companies like Western Union that compete directly against the Bitcoin payment network significant obstacles lie ahead.

Western Union Stock Price. Facing pressure from Bitcoin?
WU data by YCharts
Both Zynga and Overstock have enjoyed significant stock price increases from their adoption of Bitcoin, but the future may not be so bright for traditional companies that are unable to compete with the fundamental advantages that Bitcoin now brings to the table. Payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard are unlikely to face any near-term threat due to their entrenched brick-and-mortar presence in retail outlets. However, long term they will face pressure from increasing online acceptance of Bitcoin and from fallout from retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus who have been unable to protect the privacy of customers who use credit cards at their stores.
The companies that offer no significant advantage over Bitcoin will be the first to suffer. As Bitcoin ATMs begin to be installed worldwide at a blistering pace, the difficulty in sending international remittance falls considerably.  No company is feeling the hurt more than Western Union. Their stock has started to fall dramatically this week and one can only wonder if this has anything to do with the increasing adoption of Bitcoin worldwide.
The Technology and Financial presses have been watching Western Union closely after Bitcoin surpassed the $9.2 billion market cap of Western Union. The general consensus has been that Western Union must aggressively respond to the Bitcoin threat by either lowering fees or integrating the worldwide Bitcoin network into its own backbone. Since Western Union is unlikely to compete  against Bitcoin on cost alone, we can only expect Western Union to embrace Bitcoin fully if it wants to remain relevant.
Which can only mean more good news for Bitcoin.

Will Western Union Be the First Bitcoin Casualty on Wall Street?

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