Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have had a tumultuous year so far. We saw bitcoin soar to nearly $65,000 in mid-April and then lose more than 50% of its value three months later when it dipped below $30,000 per coin. Unlike the previous bull runs, it wasn’t just retail investors drumming up excitement. Financial institutions and businesses rose to the occasion, as well. They looked to invest in crypto or support the needs of their customers. PayPal is one example. The payment service now supports bitcoin trading and lets users pay for goods via crypto. However, that process involves exchanging digital tokens for fiat when making an online payment with PayPal. In the not too distant future, crypto enthusiasts might be able to spend digital coins directly inside online stores. After rumors said a few weeks ago that Amazon was interested in bitcoin payments, another giant is eying bitcoin payments: Walmart.
A few weeks ago, an Amazon job listing paired with a report from an insider said that Amazon eyed bitcoin payments. The giant e-commerce retailer’s ultimate goal was to create its own digital token. Amazon was quick to deny it would accept bitcoin payments.
What about Walmart’s bitcoin interest?
The bitcoin price has been fighting its way up for a few weeks. The digital token rose to over $48,000, hovering around the new local high for a couple of days. The Walmart crypto job discovery comes against that backdrop. There’s plenty of excitement in the market, which is driving prices upwards for all coins.
The job listing makes it sound like Walmart is indeed exploring additional payment methods, on top of the usual payment options:
As one of the largest retailers and e-commerce companies, Walmart enables broad set of payment options for its customers. As Digital Currency/ Cryptocurrency lead at Walmart you will be responsible for developing the Digital Currency strategy and product roadmap.
The Walmart job ad says the company is looking for a person who will “own and drive the Digital Currency strategy for Walmart.”
The position location might also be telling for Walmart’s bitcoin plans. Walmart’s crypto lead will be working out of Walmart’s home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Walmart, blockchain tech, and Hazel
Most people might associate bitcoin with payments. But the underlying blockchain technology can be used for other purposes. As Coin Telegraph points out, Walmart’s interest in blockchain tech isn’t new. The company has filed patents for all sorts of blockchain-related ideas. That includes a US dollar-backed digital currency that was similar to Facebook’s Libra. The retailer also looked at blockchain tech for supply chain management. It also filed blockchain patents for customer marketplaces and smart appliances technologies
On top of that, news broke out a few weeks ago that Walmart created its own fintech venture called Hazel.
Combined, all these developments suggest that bitcoin payments might be on Walmart’s radar.