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Walmart has Eyes on its own ‘Libra’ with Cryptocurrency Patent

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August 2, 2019 | 

648 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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Walmart, one of the world’s biggest retailers is seemingly stepping up its involvement with blockchain and cryptocurrency with a patent filing called: “System and Method for Digital Currency via Blockchain.”

By the sounds of things Walmart is toying with the idea of creating their own cryptocurrency, in much the same way Facebook has recently done with its Libra project. However, it seems a risky move as the backlash to Libra has been immense.

Walmart are no strangers to blockchain, but cryptocurrency would be a new arena for them. They are already part of IBM’s Food Trust which aims to digitize the food-producing supply chain on the blockchain.

A classic stable coin

A look at the patent filing, number 20190236564, the document outlines the following method for: “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 filing then goes on to add that the proposed digital currency project can provide a low-fee place for users to store wealth; one that can easily be redeemed and converted to store cash. Such accounts could even be interest-bearing. 

By the sounds of things, Walmart is eyeing not only a stablecoin-type cryptocurrency, but also an alternative financial system based on cryptocurrencies. This seems like a good idea, but as has been shown by Facebook and its backlash in the Senate, there are huge regulatory hurdles to cross.

Alternative to banks

What has become clear in the Facbook Libra fracus is that the regulators are not big on corporations attempting to come in and become an alternative to banks. However, there is a certain need for challenges to banks as they are not entirely accessible for lower-income earners.

Still, there will be expected huge regulatory pressure on Walmart should they go ahead and attempt to launch this cryptocurrency in the near future. Facebook and Libra as attempting to overcome the hurdles put before them, but they have also admitted that the hurdles may be too great for them to even launch.

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