Banks Stopped Walmart Bank,
Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto.On August 1, it was discovered that the giant retail corporation Walmart
has patented plans for a stablecoin that’s backed by U.S. dollars. If released into the wild, the USD-based cryptocurrency would be issued to select Walmart retailers and partners while the patent’s description explains the coin could be used outside of Walmart’s retail scope as well. Walmart’s patent follows Facebook’s recent Libra announcement and the ‘Walmart coin’ specifications are similar to the social media giant’s project as well.
Walmart Files Patent for a Digital Stablecoin Back by USD.Big-name corporations have been announcing the creation of their very own cryptocurrencies and the news has been a hot subject within the crypto community. It all started on June 18 when Facebook announced the launch of Libra, a stablecoin that will be available in Messenger, Whatsapp and as a standalone app, with the company expecting to launch the product in 2020. However, Facebook’s project riled up politicians and immediately got regulatory pushback from worldwide leaders and threats from U.S. congressional members.
Walmart’s U.S. patent #2019023656Now Walmart is stepping into the ring to test its own blockchain technology as the company has filed a new digital currency patent that describes a stablecoin backed by USD. Walmart’s coin, if developed, could be easily be tested at its 11,368 hypermarkets, department stores and grocery clubs located in 27 countries. The Walmart coin was created by Robert Cantrell, David Nelms, John O’Brien, and Brian McHale. The patent’s abstract description states:
“[The] method includes: generating one digital currency unit by tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency; storing information of the one digital currency unit into a block of a blockchain; buying or paying the one digital currency unit.”
“The digital currency may be pegged to the US dollar and available for use only at selected retailers or partners. In other embodiments, the digital currency is available for use anywhere. The digital currency can provide a fee-free, or fee-minimal place to store wealth that can be spent, for example, at retailers and, if needed, easily converted to cash,” Walmarts filing adds.
Walmart Coin Aims to Help Low-Income Households That Find Banking Expensive
A closer look at the filing shows that the Walmart coin concept offers a number of features like “pre-approved biometric (e.g., fingerprint or eye pattern) credit” and could store a user’s transaction history and give loyalty points. Much like Facebook’s Libra, the coin produced by Walmart aims to help low-income families worldwide. “Using a digital currency, low-income households that find banking expensive, may have an alternative way to handle wealth at an institution that can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs,” the Walmart filing details. “In some embodiments, retailers may be directly to aid organizations for assistance that may be used to provide goods. Retailers may tie into assistance that can provide vehicles or funding for vehicles to get goods to customers when the customers do not have sufficient mobility otherwise,” the patent reveals.
Is Walmart Coin the Corporation’s Second Attempt to Become a Bank?The news comes years after Walmart attempted to become an industrial loan company (ILC) but got pushback from politicians and regulators. Bankers and anti-Walmart groups forced politicians to pass laws to stop Walmart in its tracks from opening bank branches. Because of the opposition, Walmart’s application filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) never gained traction.
Credit to Jamie Redman