Walmart, which is the world’s largest retail company in terms of revenue, and employees, has filed a patent with the US Patent & Trademark Office for its cryptocurrency known as Walmart coin. Walmart’s cryptocurrency patent resonates with the Libra token released by Facebook in mid-June.
In its application, Walmart refers to the concept of digital currency “tied to regular currency,” facilitated by the blockchain. This is known as stablecoin. Libra is also a token which will be pegged to certain fiat currencies and government bonds, as per Facebook.
The stablecoin would provide customers savings on purchases and offer a way for the retailer’s low-income customer base to utilize financial services. The accounts would be ‘fee-free’ or ‘fee-minimal’ and could also allow users to earn interest, ensures Walmart.
“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.”
Facebook’s offering is hoped to form a system by which social media platforms can use Libra for payments, enabling advertisers to earn Libra and pay Facebook in the token for ads. Hence, it can be used broadly for various payments.
Walmart’s filling also ensures that its coin might have features that apply to a token being used within the ecosystem of the large retail company:
“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.”
Walmart’s coin is unique. Using Walmart coin, users will be able to earn interest. While in Libra, the interest earned from the Libra will potentially benefit its partners that support the company with the tune of around $10 million.
Various other unique features proposed in the extensive filling include the facility to remove the need for credit cards, and acting as a “pre-approved biometric (e.g., fingerprint or eye pattern) credit.”
According to the firm,
“A person is the ‘credit card’ to their own digital value bank.”
The token can also be used to restrict what product categories can be used by whom, for instance, blocking minors from buying cigarettes, alcohol, or an R-rated DVD.