- Walmart may be planning to introduce a USD-pegged stablecoin
- The digital currency gives low-income households an alternative
- The project imitates Facebook’s Libra that targeted the unbanked
U.S. retail giant Walmart may have developed an interest in creating a fiat-pegged cryptocurrency that’s similar to Facebook’s Libra. The proposed stablecoin will be available at selected retailers and partners targets low-income households that lack access to “costly” banking services.
Digital Currency Unit
According to a notice for Patent filing number 20190236564 published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, August 2, 2019, dubbed “System and Method for Digital Currency via Blockchain,” Walmart outlines the method it plans to use to create its stablecoin. The report reads:
“A method comprising: 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;…”
Prospective USD Backing
As per the report, Walmart has explained that its proposed digital currency project will provide a zero- or low-fee place for users to store wealth; one that can easily be redeemed and converted to store cash at selected retailers or partners, which accounts could even be interest-bearing, the filing adds. The store’s filing adds that digital currency could alternatively be developed so that it can be spent anywhere, with prospective USD backing ensuring greater ease of deposits and withdrawals. It could, in another scenario, be tied to other digital currencies, rather than fiat ones. The filing further states:
“Digital currency may be tied to a national currency, such as the US dollar, so funds can be added or taken out easily. The digital currency value could, in some embodiment, be tied to other digital currencies.”
Active Player in the Blockchain Space
The patent filing comes at a time when a similar plan by social media giant Facebook has faced a serious backlash from regulators and members of the U.S. Congress over user privacy concerns. Facebook initially planned to officially launch Libra in 2020 but it appears the plans will have to stay under wraps a little longer as a result of regulatory uncertainties in the United States. The social media giant is on record saying in a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Libra may never launch due to “significant” regulatory scrutiny.
Retail giant Walmart has been an active player in the blockchain space and has so far filed some 54 blockchain-related patents. Walmart China recently launched a blockchain platform that will help trace rice, fresh meat and mushrooms besides taking part in a pharmaceutical blockchain trial recently to track supply chains alongside IBM, KPMG, and Merck.