Ban Comes Without Explanation
In the video Ben Taylor, a.k.a. Pleasant Green, discusses the establishment of a photography business in Africa that included charity work. He asserts that for over three years he used Western Union to send money to Liberia without incident. However, after attempting to wire funds elsewhere on the continent, the money transfer firm first blocked his transfer and then informed him that he had been banned for life.
Taylor notes that he went to great lengths to prove to the money transfer business that he was not a scammer, and did not work with scammers. Nevertheless, he has been given no explanation as to why he is no longer permitted to use its services.
The author states:
I didn’t want to make this video, but I’ve got to give an explanation to my people who are gonna start to wonder why our business is drying up and why I can no longer employ them, or help them. So now I’m going to be looking into things like Bitcoin and mobile money to keep things going.
In another video posted two weeks ago, Taylor discusses the beginning of the ordeal, which involved attempting to send money to an African woman who published a book in an attempt to raise money for a needed surgery. In this video, he plays a transcript of his bewildering attempts to get answers as to why the transfer was blocked. He also outlines a second equally frustrating encounter with MoneyGram.
Bitcoin Is The Answer
High fees and complex business practices have long been a hallmark of money transfer services. Citizens of underdeveloped nations are most burdened by these issues, as they most frequently rely on these companies for financial services. It is for this reason that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are growing rapidly in these regions.
Blockchain architecture enables Bitcoin to be sent rapidly, and without the byzantine processes required by companies like Western Union. Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture makes it open for anyone to use, and transactions cannot be blocked or reversed. Most importantly, Bitcoin can be sent for a tiny fraction of the cost of legacy methods.
Given their advantages, it is only a matter of time before blockchain assets such as Bitcoin achieve mass use. For people that rely on Western Union, that day cannot come soon enough.
Is Bitcoin the de-facto payment and remittance solution? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via Bitcoinist Media Library, Pleasant Green