After years of using Western Union to transfer money and fund charitable work in underdeveloped regions around the world, a popular YouTube host and philanthropist reports he’s finally switching to bitcoin… and it’s all Western Union’s fault. 

Ben Taylor, a.k.a. Pleasant Green, is primarily known for his YouTube videos exposing money scammers—everything from “Nigerian Prince” emails to fake phone calls demanding payment to the IRS.

When he isn’t reporting on the latest scam, Taylor spends much of his time funding infrastructure, artists, and entrepreneurs in the countries where many of these scams originate… and often without the use of traditional banking services.

In the underdeveloped countries Taylor focuses on, the underlying banking infrastructure is either limited or lacking altogether… making it nearly impossible to transfer money fast without the assistance of a company like Western Union. These quick wire transfers come with expensive fees.

Despite the additional costs, Taylor had been a Western Union customer for nearly four years as of this month… before he was banned for life. 

In March, Taylor posted a video detailing a confusing encounter he had with Western Union when trying to send $1,300 to help fund an ongoing book publishing project. Western Union held the money and asked Taylor to quickly summarize his payment over the phone… a project that had taken five online videos to adequately explain.

Despite his best efforts to explain that his payment wasn’t fraudulent, the transaction was denied based solely on “internal requirements,” which Western Union refused to disclose over the phone.

Taylor says he did everything to prove he was not a scammer, and even received an email from Western Union’s corporate office saying they’d look into why his transfer was canceled…

But when he finally heard back, Western Union told him he was banned for life—again, without explanation.

Weeks later, Taylor still has no idea why he was banned. The “internal requirements” originally mentioned were never clarified, and despite a YouTube channel chronicling all of his philanthropic work, he couldn’t convince Western Union that his business was legitimate…

But he’s not giving up… Here’s what Taylor said in a video update on April 2:

I didn’t want to make this video [about Western Union], but I’ve got to give an explanation to my people who are going to start to wonder why our business is drying up… I’m going to be looking into things like bitcoin and mobile money to keep things going.

Services like Western Union have always been associated with high fees… but many people still rely on these companies for financial services—especially in regions where traditional banking services are limited or nonexistent. This is just one reason why the use of cryptos is accelerating in these regions…

The decentralized architecture of bitcoin and cryptos makes them accessible to anyone. Blockchain ensures fast, verified, transparent transactions, and transfers cannot be blocked or reversed. Plus, bitcoin and cryptos can be sent for a fraction of the cost of a service like Western Union.

Considering these benefits, it’s only a matter of time before cryptos and digital currencies make traditional wire transfer services virtually obsolete…

And if Ben Taylor and his supporters have anything to say about it, that day can’t come fast enough.

Chris Gaarde
Contributing Editor, The Token Tracker

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