The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, appears to be resuming its crypto course. Among other things, a job advertisement for crypto specialists made the rounds. Why the group is underestimated in the crypto sector and what its strategy for its own crypto currency could look like.
Walmart does not have the charisma of Amazon, Facebook and certainly not that of Tesla. When it comes to the establishment of crypto by corporations, the focus is more on the tech giants than on the down-to-earth supermarket chain – wrongly. While the introduction of crypto at Amazon remains only in the area of rumors, Tesla is only acquiring Bitcoin as company reserve and Facebook has been fighting with the regulators via the Diem Association for many months, Walmart has good chances – less spectacular, but very pragmatic – the Bitcoin and crypto -Adoption expand more than anyone else.
Cold coffee, warmed up hot
Walmart is one of the world’s first corporations to take a serious look at blockchain technology. Since 2016, the group has been carrying out blockchain tracking tests on a regular basis, from halves of pork to medication. The first big bang followed in August 2019. Instead of running supply chain tests on the Vechain blockchain protocol or IBM’s DLT solution, Walmart hired one Patent application for a stablecoin. In contrast to Facebook’s Diem – formerly Libra – it remained silent.
The silence of the group regarding its own cryptocurrency project or the failure to take further steps – at least according to publicly available information – allows the following conclusions to be drawn:
- Until autumn 2020, the mood in the crypto market and also the public opinion on the topic of crypto currencies was downright depressing. The management or the crypto advocates should not have had an easy position in the group at the time.
- With its association, which was founded under the name Libra at the time, Facebook has faced fierce headwinds from politicians from all over the world. Libra’s first approach failed before the regulators. This observation may have created some deterrent and tactical reluctance. At the same time, Walmart lacked pressure to quickly implement blockchain innovations. The risk-reward ratio was certainly not ideal.
- The existing blockchain solutions were not convincing in terms of their user-friendliness and ultimately commercial feasibility. Not only in terms of regulation, but also technically, the technology has so far been too immature to implement complex business processes practically.
Will everything be different in 2021?
Of course, other aspects may also have played a role in the previous crypto reluctance – in case of doubt, quite trivial such as the sluggishness of a large corporation – but at least the above points have clearly turned for the better. The mood on the market and, above all, the openness of companies has turned significantly for the better. Politicians are shooting against cryptocurrencies no less violently. Nevertheless, it also becomes clear that it creates a legal framework that offers a more conservative company like Walmart better planning security. In addition, blockchain technology has developed significantly over the past two years and enables more practical applications. The likelihood that a sufficiently high level of maturity has now developed for Walmart has increased.
The new one fits accordingly Job posting from the previous Sunday into the picture, which provides an expert for the group’s crypto strategy. Especially since with their own fintech Hazel, which was founded this year, the basis for various banking services is to be laid. Also crypto services retains Walmart Fintech.
Walmart and crypto: like a fist on the eye
It is obvious that entry into the financial sector can make sense for Walmart: The group is not only the highest-grossing retail chain in the world, but also the largest private employer. It was not for nothing that the group had tried to obtain a banking license in the past, but failed in the early 2000s.
Hardly any other company can fall back on a comparable ecosystem of customers and employees. More than 2.3 million people work for the group – more than nations like Slovenia or Estonia have inhabitants. These can be integrated into Walmart’s crypto ecosystem right from the start.
Around 220 million customers per week frequent one of around 10,500 Walmart stores. No other company should have more physical contact areas or addresses than Walmart. Bonus offers for customers who pay with the “in-house stablecoin” – and thereby save the company billions in transaction fees for VISA and Co. – could quickly convince a critical mass of customers.
Don’t save, but expand
Walmart shouldn’t just be about saving transaction fees. In order to use the full potential of programmable money and programmable infrastructures, in addition to customer loyalty programs, for example bonuses and discounts, it is also possible to map more complex financial applications such as micro-credits. In the United States in particular, consumer credit is widespread among many people.
At the same time, access to financial services for the financial underclass is not as developed as in Germany, for example. In order to still use banking services, sometimes high fees have to be paid. As a result, the group could secure even more market share with the help of the poorer population in the retail as well as in the financial sector.
When is the Walmart Coin coming?
Even if nobody can say exactly how the crypto currency – according to the patent application it should probably be a stablecoin – and the associated crypto strategy will look like, hardly any other company in the world offers greater potential for global crypto establishment than Walmart. The group should be aware of its clout, which is why it cannot be assumed that Walmart will rush something.
A quick introduction, possibly in 2021, is therefore unlikely. Especially since you certainly want to lead your Fintech Hazel to a certain degree of maturity in order to offer crypto services if necessary.
Under certain circumstances, you will also wait for Facebook’s Diem to start in order to learn even better from the mistakes of others. Who knows, if the corporate infrastructure is already being expanded to include digital assets, then the acceptance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could also be a likely option in the future.