Walmart announce application for cryptocurrency
Walmart announced its application for a cryptocurrency submitted at the beginning of this year, which would be a stable-coin backed by traditional currencies.
With its own cryptocurrency, the half-a-trillion-dollar retail chain would be able to reduce interchange fees by $2.3 billion a year and enhance cross-border remittances by bypassing the Federal Reserve’s ‘Directo-a-Mexico’ project, according to Forbes.
The patent application for the ‘Walmart Coin’, however, describes uses similar enough to traditional banking, making the submission less controversial than Facebook’s Libra project which has drawn claims that it’s subverting government authority.
The supermarket giant argued the development of its own currency would allow low-income households who find banking expensive to handle their wealth in a more familiar environment, which “can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs”.
It also highlighted the need to eliminate credit cards, replacing them with the concept that “a person is the ‘credit card’ to their own digital value bank.”
The patent sounds similar to Amazon Go, describing a hypothetical “currency micro-market” in “an unattended retail environment where consumers can purchase products from open shelves, coolers, or freezers and use a self-checkout kiosk to pay for their products.”
It would work like a banking relationship, seeing shoppers’ money gain interest while it’s there in a makeshift bank account.
So far Walmart has not announced any partners in the new venture which is in line with previous initiative such as Walmart Pay, where it blocked contactless mobile wallets such as Apple Pay.