Walmart is looking into its own US dollar-backed digital currency, along the same lines of Facebook’s much hyped Libra project.
A patent application outlines a method for “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; buying or paying the one digital currency unit”.
The stablecoin could benefit those with limited access to banking services, one of Libra’s big selling points. “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,” Walmart states.
Users’ purchasing histories could be stored on the blockchain, with related savings applied to subsequent purchases in a similar way to loyalty programmes. Other features include the ability to remove the need for credit cards, and acting as a “pre-approved biometric (e.g., fingerprint or eye pattern) credit…A person is the ‘credit card’ to their own digital value bank”.
Whole lotta blockchain patents
Walmart is already using blockchain for tracking the likes of leafy greens and prescription medicines and vaccines. It has also filed various other patents, covering the likes of a blockchain-based marketplace for reselling purchased products.