News that retail giant Walmart could soon be releasing their own digital currency has led to intense speculation over what it could mean. Is this Walmart cryptocurrency going to change the way that millions of people all around the world shop from now on?
What Do We Know?
We know most of the information that we have about the potential Walmart cryptocurrency from a patent that has recently been filed by the company. According to this, it looks as though it is going to be similar to Facebook’s Libra offering.
The company’s application made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office includes the phrase, “tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency”. This means that it will be a stablecoin that is pegged to a fiat currency, believed to be the US Dollar. So, it would join other stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).
The filing also suggests that the new Walmart coin might only be available at “selected retailers or partners.” It seems obvious that it will be for use in Walmart’s 11,000+ stores across the globe. Yet, it appears that it might not be limited to these locations.
In addition, the patent filing calls this a “fee-free, or fee-minimal place” for people to store money that can be easily spent on retail purchases or converted to fiat cash as needed.
It has been suggested that the Walmart coin is likely to be aimed at low-income households who are looking at a crypto wallet as being an easier and less expensive alternative to traditional banking. They look as though they will even offer interest on money stored in this way.
How Could the Walmart Stablecoin Change Spending Habits?
Interestingly, it is noted that the Walmart currency could remove the need for credit or debit cards. They could allow for pre-approved credit based on biometric readings of the customer’s fingerprints or eyes.
By using the blockchain, Walmart also opens up the possibility of storing each person’s record of purchases and applying any savings or loyalty bonuses that are due to them. The stores could also use this coin to ensure that the appropriate age restrictions are applied to purchases such as tobacco and alcohol.
What Else Could This Digital Currency Do?
There is still a lot we don’t know about how this Walmart crpytocurrency will be used. For example, it has been suggested that it may be used by the firm to pay their 2.2 million employees worldwide.
Over time, it may become clearer how this project differs from Facebook’s Libra. However, for the moment it does appear that the scene is set for two of the world’s most powerful companies to go head to head in the cryptocurrency market.