In July, Libra of Facebook caught the attention of the whole world. Wal-Mart, the American supermarket that has nothing to do with the Internet and digital currency, stated in August that it would also enter the digital cryptocurrency.
According to Bloomberg News, the US Patent and Trademark Office recently published a document entitled "System and Method for Blockchain Digital Currency" (Patent No. 20190236564), which shows that Wal-Mart is applying for digital cryptocurrencies linked to traditional currencies.
Since the emergence of Bitcoin and Facebook's launch of Libra, the debate about encrypted digital currencies has continued. This time, can Wal-Mart's encrypted digital currency really work?
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Will Wal-Mart's virtual currency play with new tricks?
Many analysts believe that Wal-Mart's digital cryptocurrency is similar to Facebook's Libra in the operation of bundling traditional currency, but Wal-Mart has demonstrated its unique "chain supermarket" feature in its patent documents.
Wal-Mart said in its patent documents that the digital cryptocurrency may have token functionality for the high-end retail ecosystem. In other words, Wal-Mart's currency can only be used at Wal-Mart's selected retailers or partners.
At the same time, Wal-Mart claims that they want the traditional currency linked to this encrypted digital currency to be in US dollars, so that users can convert this digital cryptocurrency into US dollars in a store that works with Wal-Mart.
Cointelegraph, a digital currency information website, said that Wal-Mart hopes to further expand its digital cryptocurrency into a blockchain-driven service ecosystem in such a way as to create an “open-end for buying and crowdsourcing”. Value exchange platform."
Second, Wal-Mart also hopes that this currency may have the function of "banking". Wal-Mart said in its patent documents that this digital cryptocurrency allows users to store their wealth at zero commission or low commission. At the same time, these accounts deposited in digital currency can even generate interest income.
In fact, the property of having "banks" has always been one of the original intentions of the makers of encrypted digital currencies. In the early days, Wal-Mart proposed that the digital cryptocurrency it hopes to implement can serve low-income families to reduce the high cost they have to use the bank.
For a long time, VISA and MasterCard, which are commonly used in Europe and the United States, have been charged a high fee when they make online payments. If Wal-Mart's cryptocurrency can be approved, the existing bank card system will be challenged, and users can complete the payment directly through these cryptocurrencies, greatly reducing the user's demand for traditional bank cards.
Difficult to share with Libra and Bitcoin
"We don't currently have any plans to convert this patent," Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg wrote in an e-mail.
In other words, even if Wal-Mart's patent is approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office, they currently have no way to promote the currency. Not to mention the three-point world with Libra and Bitcoin.
At the same time, because the cryptocurrency released by Wal-Mart has many similarities with Libra, it is difficult to say that Libra's "worry" is not a good example.
Since June 18, Facebook has published Libra white paper for nearly two months. What it is ushered in in the market is not “selling”, but the “resistance” of national regulatory authorities and central banks.
Although Libra and Bitcoin are both virtual currencies, Libra has taken a big step forward in currency stability. Facebook tried to use real assets as collateral to anchor a basket of currencies to solve the problem of unstable digital currency prices. At the same time, Facebook also stressed that Libra is only a payment tool, does not compete with sovereign currency, but its function as a digital currency still makes it a "spit" for national financial regulators.
On July 12th, US President Trump also issued three tweets about encrypted digital currencies. The cryptographic digital currency "is not money, the value is fluctuating, and the value is completely out of thin air. Unregulated digital currency. Assets can contribute to illegal behavior."
At present, central banks are acting cautiously on the issue of encrypting digital currencies. In fact, before Libra was born, central banks began to study their own digital currency. Now, the implementation steps of central banks have accelerated.
On August 2nd, the People’s Bank of China’s work video conference for the second half of the year emphasized that it is necessary to develop financial technology, strengthen follow-up research, and actively meet new challenges. Accelerate the pace of research and development of China's legal digital currency (DC/EP), track and study the development trend of virtual currency at home and abroad, and continue to strengthen Internet financial risk remediation.
Source: International Finance News
Reporter: Zhang Ang