We’re living in some of the best and most interesting times ever. We’re witnessing a world in which currencies are no longer the exclusive properties of central banks and governments alone. After cryptocurrency projects that empowered people with decentralized currencies that are not owned or controlled by anyone, we’ve now entered an era in which many of the corporations are considering to launch their own currencies. After Facebook’s Libra we had heard a few days ago that Walmart is also quietly working on a similar private cryptocurrency project. And now one expert has suggested that Walmart’s project has a better chance of passing the regulatory scrutiny than that of Facebook.
This input has come from Ms. Jaret Seiberg, who is a senior policy analyst at investment banking company Cowen. He feels that there are many fundamental differences in Walmart’s and Facebook’s crypto projects, which may make legislators prefer Walmart project for clearance instead of Facebook Libra. The key appeal of Walmart, according to him, is its demographics. While Facebook and Walmart both operate globally and have global ambitions, the scale and size of Walmart’s ambitions are still smaller than that of Facebook. The coin would differ little from any rechargeable gift card that customers can use to pay for things at Walmart, instead of Libra that is likely to be used not only for payments but also for remittances. That’s what makes it less concerning for regulators, Seiberg wrote in his letter to clients.
But it also doesn’t mean that Walmart’s coin will sail through the regulatory requirements automatically. Seiberg warned that though it doesn’t aim to take on the central banks, it may still challenge the smaller banks and credit unions. Therefore, it will also have to face some scrutiny. But ultimately the regulators are likely to give a go-ahead for it, as they too are looking for an alternative of existing financial infrastructure for people who do not use banking services regularly.
Walmart, on the other hand, is not looking to launch its cryptocurrency project anytime soon. At least not for now. A company spokesperson confirmed this to Bloomberg by stating that Walmart doesn’t plan to use its digital currency patent immediately.