Who would have thought that Walmart would ever have an interest in cryptocurrency? The American retail giant is now looking to patent a new way of allowing its many customers to utilize cryptocurrencies to purchase goods and services.
Walmart and Crypto: A Solid Match?
Many crypto enthusiasts already know that cryptocurrencies were originally designed to serve as means of payment for everyday items. Banks and traditional financial institutions can often get in the way of people who have weaker financial means or who do not possess valid credit to obtain what they need to survive. Cryptocurrencies will often make their way into holders’ accounts quickly and without delay. In addition, there are no credit checks and far less barricades to pass through.
Unfortunately, their volatility has often gotten in the way of their true ideals. While crypto is designed to be used for payment purposes, many companies do not willingly accept cryptocurrencies for the purchase of goods and services, primarily because they are vulnerable to price swings. If you purchase $100 worth of merchandise with BTC, for example, but tomorrow bitcoin goes down by approximately $50, you’ll still walk away with everything you purchased, but the company has lost money in the end.
It’s not always a fair position for retailers to be in, which is why things have been slow in the space of crypto payment processes, but Walmart is looking to change things up a little.
Rather than take the Facebook/ Libra route, the company is not looking to issue its own cryptocurrency. Instead, it’s trying to make the method of using crypto much easier for its customers. Through a patent application filed on August 1st by Walmart Apollo LLC, the company states that it wants to create a system for cheaper and faster payments using blockchain technology.
Furthermore, crypto-using customers can also look forward to a potential loyalty rewards program that grants them additional perks if they’re repeat customers that decide to use digital currencies for purchases.
This will not be the first time Walmart has integrated a blockchain-like ledger into its operations. Recently, the company began utilizing blockchain to track produce and other items along its supply chain.
Does This Have Anything to Do with the Trade War?
At press time, it’s unclear if perhaps this new blockchain method is somehow designed to protect Walmart from the ongoing tariffs imposed through President Trump’s trade war with China. Walmart was among several retailers to be hit hard by the tariffs. Since they’ve been invoked, some customers report prices for certain China-made products incurring hikes by approximately 30 percent or more.
Walmart allegedly warned President Trump about a year ago that a trade war would cause prices to rise, which could ultimately do damage to the economy by lessening everyday Americans’ spending habits.