Peter Todd Says Western Union is Bitcoin’s Biggest Rival at 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo
During a panel at the 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo, Peter Todd explained that Bitcoin’s main competitor is Western Union. During the panel, participants discussed the utility that Bitcoin has for financial activities around the world compared to traditional systems. The main conclusion is that Bitcoin does not compete against Visa or Mastercard. Instead, Bitcoin should be compared to Western Union and similar companies.
Western Union Competes Against Bitcoin
Peter Todd is a recognized Bitcoin Core developers and applied cryptography consultant. He said that when we have a look at the history of Western Union, it is possible to see that the company aims at dodging regulations around the world. He mentioned that most of the people do not know about it and that we only have the image of the company that allows individuals to send and receive international payments.
Mr. Todd has also been working for the enterprise blockchain solution firm R3. The company has developed the payment platform Corda Settler. About Visa and Mastercard, Todd said that they already compete well in and Bitcoin does not have a hope at all in this market. Nonetheless, he mentioned that Bitcoin performs well in those areas where regulations restrict the flow of money. Visa and MasterCard have difficulties competing against Bitcoin in these conditions.
On the matter, Todd commented:
“Visa and Mastercard already won in many respects. When you’re talking about the sort of things that they already compete well in, Bitcoin doesn’t have a hope. Or if you’re talking about the sort of thing where Bitcoin has a chance at competing in, where you have regulations restricting the flow of money, Visa and Mastercards of the world have a very difficult time of competing.”
There are also some institutions and banks that are trying to hide their information from regulators. Banks want to be compliant with the regulations in several countries but they do not want to provide information that these countries do not ask for.
During a conversation with Peter McCormack in his podcast What Bitcoin Did, Todd said that Bitcoin is a hedge against platforms such as PayPal. He mentioned that these firms are able to restrict freedom of speech in a very effective way. Meanwhile, Bitcoin allows individuals to freely send and receive funds independently from the information they share or the things they do.
Todd has also compared the JPM Coin, the digital currency launched by JP Morgan Chase, and PayPal. He said that both PayPal and the JPM Coin work in a similar way with just slight differences.
“The APIs can look roughly the same,” he said. “You might have a bit of crypto, and change a few auditing things, and maybe change some of the APIs, but it’s really not that different.”