Retail giant Walmart has applied for a cryptocurrency patent that bears some similarities to the Libra token proposed by Facebook in mid-June.
In its application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart touts the concept of a digital currency “tied to a regular currency” – that is, what’s commonly known as a stablecoin. Libra will be a token pegged to a basket of fiat currencies and government bonds, according to Facebook.
Over and above that, the filing suggests that the proposed coin could help provide finance for those with limited access to banking services – one of the major claims Facebook has made for Libra, most likely in an effort to appeal to the public (and regulators) over the token.
“Using a digital currency, low-income households that find banking expensive, may have an alternative way to handle wealth at an institution that can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs,” Walmart states.
Facebook’s offering is expected to create a system whereby its social media platforms could use Libra for payments, allowing advertisers to earn Libra and pay Facebook in the token for ads. Although it could also be used more widely in time in remittances and other use cases.
Walmart’s filing, too, indicates its coin could have features that apply to a token being used within the ecosystem of a high-street retail company: