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Crypto Bites Walmart

After Amazon and Apple, US retail giant Walmart is now looking for a leader in digital currency products. According to the ad posted on LinkedIn, Walmart is looking for “a visionary leader” to develop a digital currency strategy for the retail company. However, the search for a suitable applicant is not Walmart‘s first contact with cryptocurrencies. In 2019, the company filed a patent for a blockchain-supported cryptocurrency. In 2021, Walmart founded a FinTech to offer a wide range of financial services.

Walmart seeks digital currency subject matter expert

As of Sunday, August 15, 2021, Walmart has been looking for a manager for digital currency products. In the job posting, which was posted on LinkedIn and on the company’s website, Walmart stated that it was looking for someone with successful experience in running and scaling companies. In addition, the ideal candidate should have at least 10 years of experience in product / program management and technology-based product marketing. In addition, the chances of potential employment in the position of the so-called Digital Currency and Cryptocurrency Product Lead with in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem itself increase. The successful candidate will begin work at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. In addition to developing and driving a general crypto strategy, the head of digital currency products should primarily focus on:

  • Identification of customer needs including their implementation in product requirements
  • Develop partnerships with product, technology and design executives
  • Creation of a crypto product roadmap
  • Driving the execution of the project
  • Identify crypto-related investment opportunities and partnerships

Walmart follows Amazon and Apple

It was not until July 2021 that Amazon published a similar job posting. In particular, the world’s largest online department store is looking for a manager in the field of digital currencies and blockchain technology. In the same breath it was speculated that Amazon would soon accept crypto currencies as a means of payment.

To this day, the company has denied this claim. At the end of May this year, Apple was also looking for a business development manager for alternative payment methods. Here, too, the job posting related to cryptocurrencies, among other things. “5+ years of experience with or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, fast payments and crypto currencies” required the requirements profile at the time.

The advertisement for this position is still open. Although there are only searches for positions that deal with digital and crypto currencies, Walmart, Amazon and Apple will sooner or later accept digital currencies. Once that happens, a domino effect will very likely be triggered.

Own blockchain-protected digital currency

However, Walmart’s ambitions in the crypto sector have been around for some time. In 2019, the company filed a patent for its own cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology, similar to Facebook’s Libra project at the time.

The patent application number 20190236564, “System and Method for Digital Currency via Blockchain”, was published on August 1, 2019 by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It states that with the proposed digital currency project, Walmart aims to provide users with a free or inexpensive place to store their assets.

The values on the accounts should be easily redeemable and converted into cash at selected retailers or partners. There is also the possibility of interest, it says in the submission.

Alternatively, the digital currency could be developed in such a way that it can be spent anywhere. An expected support from the US dollar would enable easier deposits and withdrawals. In another scenario, it could be pegged to other digital currencies instead of fiat currencies.

Right at the start of the application, Walmart suggests that introducing its digital currency could benefit low-income households, for whom banking is costly. It could offer “an alternative way to manage your assets with an institution that can meet most of your daily financial and product needs”.

The “blockchain-protected digital currency,” as Walmart calls its own cryptocurrency, could further challenge incumbent banks by eliminating the need for credit and debit cards.

Walmart starts its own FinTech with Hazel.

With the patent application for its own digital currency, Walmart was already planning to create its own blockchain-supported service ecosystem. With the founding of the FinTech start-up Hazel at the end of July 2021, Walmart has come a big step closer to this endeavor.

n collaboration with Ribbit Capital, the retail giant aims to create a broad ecosystem of financial services such as bank accounts, lending, digital payments and more, all controlled by a “super app” for mobile devices. Similar to WeChat in China, such an app would integrate many aspects of consumer life.

This includes commerce, finance, healthcare, and payments, all on a single network.

Conclusion

Walmart has been looking for a head of digital and cryptocurrency products since August 15, 2021, following Amazon and Apple. Both top companies had similar positions to fill this year. The potential candidate should have years of experience in business development and in the field of digital currencies.

Walmart is continuing on its way to integrate cryptocurrencies into its ecosystem. As early as 2019, the retail giant filed a patent for its own digital currency based on blockchain technology. At the end of Q1 2021, Walmart founded ‘Hazel by Walmart’, its own FinTech company, in order to be able to offer its supermarket customers additional financial services.

A weighty focus is on the large number of residents of the USA who have no or only limited access to the traditional banking system. To date, Walmart’s blockchain projects have focused on leveraging the technology in areas such as supply chain management, customer marketplaces, and smart devices.

We can be curious whether Walmart will become a sought-after financial service provider or whether conventional banks are trying to modernize their sometimes dusty practices in order not to lose their customers.

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