Major U.S. retailer Walmart is looking into creating a fiat-pegged cryptocurrency, according to a patent filing that was published on Thursday, August 1.
The document, published on the official website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reveals a concept similar to Facebook’s recently announced Libra cryptocurrency: a digital coin whose price is tied to that of a fiat currency. The patent emphasizes that Wallmart’s stablecoin could be pegged to the U.S. dollar.
The application continues by claiming that Walmart’s stablecoin could serve as an alternative for those people who don’t have access to banking services. The digital currency could be spent at retail stores or converted into fiat money.
According to the patent filing, Walmart is cautiously optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies. At some point they could possibly substitute credit cards, the document says.
The idea of creating a digital currency for the unbanked is also being explored by Facebook, which announced its highly anticipated cryptocurrency Libra in June. With it, the social media giant aims to provide payment services to billions of people who do not have access to the traditional financial ecosystem.
Walmart has been actively looking into the blockchain technology for the last few years. The company has filed more than 54 crypto-related patents, competing with IBM and Alibaba in terms of the sheer amount of filings.