Photo Credit To Stephanie Clark Via Flickr
On August 2nd, news broke on Bloomberg that Walmart had recently filed a patent that relates to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. This was filed on August 1, 2019 and can be found on the United States Patent and Trademark website. In the last couple years, Walmart has been one of the larger players in the Blockchain space. To date, Walmart actually utilizes Blockchain in supply chain tasks. These operations are on the back-end which means the customers are not directly using Blockchain Technology. The most recent filing was very interesting because it foreshadowed a future where customers could potentially use cryptocurrency daily. Walmart mentioned a future where consumers were potentially transacting in crypto. A customer digital asset wallet could be used in all facets of shopping such as buying and even returning products.
Within the filing, Walmart talked about a “Stable Coin” structure multiple times. This means a cryptocurrency that is backed by a currency such as the US dollar. Stable Coins are lower risk because there’s usually real fiat backing the coin 1:1 . The filing talked about supporting the “unbanked population” by offering financial solutions that would offer lower fees, and also available to people that do not have bank accounts. According to a World Bank study in 2017, there were 1.7 billion adults who had no access to banking accounts. Blockchain technology can be an effective measure to tap these developing countries. The filing also favored stable coin structure as it was “offering a predictable source of revenue for retailers.” One of the reasons many merchants won’t accept Bitcoin is due to its volatility. With price uncertainty in Bitcoin, it would create a lot of question marks for products/services. A Stable coin structure on the other hand should have little to no volatility risk if its backed 1:1 to the USD.
Aside from the text, the filing also provided images and it was clear that Walmart was hinting at a Stable Coin structure. It’s amazing to see how far the industry has come in the last 10 years. Its jaw dropping to witness Walmart filing patents revolving around potential everyday crypto use.
Enterprise Interest in Blockchain
As Blockchain knowledge has expanded, you have seen many companies dip their feet into the water. Distributed Ledger Tech and Blockchain use cases are endless at the enterprise level and is the reason other large companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have begun building. Further evidence of this is presented through the recent “Deloitte Global Blockchain Survey.” This survey was formulated by surveying about 1,386 global enterprises. They took a look at the sentiment change since their previous survey in 2018. According to the report “fifty-three percent of respondents say that blockchain technology has become a critical priority for their organization in 2019 – a 10 percent increase over last year.” Aside from this statement, attitudes in the following areas increased in this year’s survey:
- “Blockchain technology is broadly scalable and will eventually achieve mainstream adoption”
- “The executive team believes there is a compelling business case for blockchain”
- “We are planning to replace current systems of record”
- “We will lose a competitive advantage if we don’t adopt blockchain technology”
The Global Blockchain Survey was a great report put together in 2019 to gage enterprise thoughts / concerns. Again, all the statements and results from the tech can be found through the full report here.