As one of the largest retail suppliers with almost 12,000 stores in 28 countries around the globe, Walmart Inc. eventually became entrenched in the hottest investment trend providing their loyal customers with an extraordinary opportunity to purchase sweet and less volatile Bitcoin for the “everyday low price”.
From the very beginning Bitcoin has been struggling for mainstream adoption while seeking to replace centralized fiat currency with an anti-tamper record of digital transactions, yet until today for the wide audience this is still just a dream to pay for their daily grocery checks with innovative altcoins.
In the meanwhile, American-based retail giant Walmart has brought Bitcoin to their stores in the form of chocolate candy instead of the long-waited means of payment.
Some say it is a cruel mock up, but the fact does stand: sweet milk chocolate Bitcoin wrapped in the gold foil with yellow mesh have flooded the shelves of Walmart tagged with a funny price tag of $1 per unite. Moreover, unlike actual Bitcoin, the price of these candies doesn’t fluctuate and it is unnecessarily to pass an extensive know-your-customer identify verification process to buy some.
Consequently, all wannabe Bitcoin investors have got a chance to jump on a candy Bitcoin bandwagon, even if it is a much less valuable and hopefully tasty type of investment.
On the other hand, Walmart might indeed have pursued good intentions giving Bitcoin such a great exposure. The company is well-known for their vast interest to leverage blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in an effort to streamline its supply chain and beyond.
Walmart has already filed a number of blockchain-related patents pertaining to different applications of the blockchain technology. The most recent patent filing featuring a system for “autonomous electronic devices,” or robots, that can conduct package deliveries. The company believes that the robust blockchain technology is able to disrupt traditional supply chain with an immutable digital ledger.
In 2016, Walmart announced an initiative to improve food safety by utilizing blockchain tech to provide better food tracking and consumer safety. The project was launched in collaboration with IBM and Tsinghua University. In June of this year, the retailer won a patent for a system to house medical records on a blockchain.
Also, Walmart has recently patented a system for the scheduling of deliveries or products purchased through their website. The patent envisions using blockchain-based delivery hubs that use the public ledger to track available and reserved units, then deploy them for shipment based on a schedule. The technology could be coupled with another Walmart blockchain patent on temperature-regulated “smart packages” for perishable goods.
Certainly, the Frankford-created Bitcoins will contribute to raising public awareness of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, therefore increasing the chance that more people will eventually have their interest piqued by its technological and ideological underpinnings. At the same time, chocolate coins may become only the first step to Walmart’s cryptocurrency adoption and very soon we will encounter the support for Bitcoin payments or even a Walmart coin itself.