Cryptocurrencies fall into one of the major areas of payments disruption and “will become an important part of how customers transact,” according to Suresh Kumar, the global chief technology at the retail giant Walmart.
“Crypto is going to continue to play a very important role in that. And obviously, we want to be there where the customer really needs us to be,” Kumar said at Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit on Monday.
Kumar also suggested that part of that disruption will be happening in the metaverse—“on live streams, inside your social media app.”
“So whether it is physical goods or virtual goods, [cryptocurrencies] play a part in terms of what the customer wants,” said Kumar.
Walmart and the metaverse
At the end of last year, Walmart filed several new trademarks related to cryptocurrency and the metaverse, generally clearing the way for America’s largest retailer to issue its own cryptocurrency and within a metaverse—an online network of worlds that combines elements of physical, augmented, and virtual reality.
Walmart’s foray into the realms of crypto took another step in September when the company announced the launch of "Walmart Land" and "Walmart’s Universe of Play"—two online game worlds within a popular gaming platform Roblox.
While Roblox is a traditional Web2 game built around user-generated content, Walmart’s move could serve as a springboard for a deeper dive into online worlds that eventually leads the retailer into Web3 metaverse games built around NFTs and other crypto technology.
Another part of the disruption, according to Kumar, “is how products get discovered” and delivered.
“When you specifically talk about crypto, it is going to be about discovery of products, whether it is physical or virtual inside, either the Metaverse or upfront, and then how people transact,” added Walmart’s CTO.
Walmart has also been actively exploring the possibilities of the underlying blockchain technology.
In March 2020, the retailer joined Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation-led collaborative network of companies building open-source blockchains and related tools.
Walmart’s partners also include Moneygram, the money transfer company that once collaborated with Ripple before joining forces with Stellar to enable users to convert their physical cash into digital dollars and back.