Retail behemoth Walmart has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a stablecoin that is tied one for one to a reserve of fiat currency – most likely the dollar, August 1, 2019. The stablecoin will be issued and monitored over a blockchain, which is more than likely to be of a permissioned nature. After Libra has been stopped in its tracks for lack of clarity over KYC, Walmart may be attempting to usurp Facebook’s idea.
Exciting Prospect for Walmart
The patent filed has a detailed description of the protocol, and it doesn’t seem to be all that different to the plan Libra had or any other stablecoin for that matter. Accounted for via a blockchain, all transactions on an immutable ledger, restrictions on issuance and generation of currency, and stable value tied to fiat.
What would set this apart is quite obvious, it’s Walmart, one of the biggest retail chains in the world. Concerns regarding their competence and ability to successfully roll this out are most definitely going to be declared by bureaucrats, but in this day and age, it doesn’t take a tech company to launch a product that revolves around tech.
Walmart has already forayed into blockchain and is now taking baby steps into the arena of cryptocurrencies. This is going to be an exciting month as Congress is likely to summon Walmart once they announce their plans.
Keep Big Retail Out of Finance?
After the fiasco where house representatives wanted to pass a bill to keep big tech out of finance, a repeat would mean we have a bill to keep big retail out of finance. At this rate, Congress is going to have to draft a bill every month barring a new industry from finance.
On the trust aspect, it will be interesting to see consumers perception of Walmart after a survey declared their lack of trust in Facebook. Walmart is a retailer and has a positive brand image to the general public, so Facebook might actually be seeing some real competition.