Cowen, a veteran analyst and research group, believes that Walmart will face less political opposition than Facebook if and when it decides to launch its own cryptocurrency.
Walmart revealed last week that it was looking into the creation of a stablecoin, via a patent filing.
The digital currency variant could have amazing possibilities, given Walmart’s massive footprint across the US. The working poor in the US rely on Walmart already for several financial services, including such vital things as cashing their checks and getting their money onto debit cards.
Walmart also plays a vital role in the MoneyGram remittance network.
MoneyGram has its own interests in blockchain technology, having agreed to begin using Ripple (XRP) for cross-border settlement (at least in some capacity). Western Union and MoneyGram will likely both in the future use some version of blockchain technology to save money and improve efficiency.
Cowen believes that Walmart’s use case and track record as a company will make its potential cryptocurrency plans more palatable, both to Democrats critical of mega-corporations and Republicans skeptical of Silicon Valley.
Democrats have been particularly vitriolic against cryptocurrency, including Facebook’s Libra, since the recent resurgence in crypto markets as well as renewed interest from big companies.
Walmart, IBM, and Facebook are only a handful of major corporations who have their fingers into blockchain technology.
Erstwhile companies like AT&T are accepting crypto payments. The times are certainly changing.
The only fear that Cowen thinks might arise around Walmart’s stablecoin is the notion that they could disrupt things like credit unions and banks in smaller areas.
A Cowen analyst who spoke to Bloomberg said the Walmart crypto project was unlikely to face any staunch roadblocks, however.
There’s no telling how many different ways Walmart might use a cryptocurrency. It could enable international buyers to get American goods with fewer middlemen. It could become a way for employees to become exposed to cryptocurrency at every paycheck.
If nothing else, Walmart has a serious advantage over Facebook: a mass of people who trust them with their money already.
Cowen concludes that the government will be friendlier to Walmart’s attempt at a cryptocurrency. It’s likely that Walmart’s digital currency will see greater use, as well.
Walmart may be a mega-corporation, but it hasn’t had any massive scandals relating to people’s personal information.
Walmart thrives in a variety of industries – they do everything from toys to tater tots. The company’s foray into cryptocurrency will be an exciting chapter, no matter how it turns out.
Thus far, there hasn’t been any talk of Walmart accepting Bitcoin. But would it come as a surprise, with such companies as AT&T allowing customers to pay their bills in crypto?