Crypto will disrupt payments in a "big" way, according to Walmart's CTO
October 18, 2022 4:25 AM
Suresh Kumar predicted that the Metaverse and social media will become major channels for product discovery, making cryptocurrency a crucial method of payment.
Suresh Kumar, Walmart's global CTO, believes that cryptocurrencies will become a "significant" area of disruption, especially in the future of how customers pay for digital and physical things.
Walmart's bullish stance on digital assets was laid forth by Kumar at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on October 17. He predicted that "crypto would become an integral component of how customers transact" for both physical and digital items.
"In my opinion, three primary spheres of life are being shaken up. It's about how "people are being inspired and discovering products," and "crypto falls in somewhat of the middle of it," he said.
Kumar further speculated that the Metaverse and live streaming on social media apps will become crucial channels for marketing to a large number of consumers, with cryptocurrency serving as a viable means of exchange.
"When you talk about crypto, it's going to be about how consumers discover items—whether those products are physical or digital, in the Metaverse or up front."
For this reason, it makes sense that in late September, Walmart launched Walmart Land in the Roblox Metaverse. There, in addition to supplying "verch" (virtual stuff) for customers' avatars, the company is presenting a variety of virtual events, such as games, a DJ booth, and a Ferris wheel.
Although Walmart has not yet implemented NFTs or crypto into the Roblox metaverse, the retailer has hinted in January patent filings that it may seek to develop digital currencies, tokens, and NFTs in the Roblox Metaverse in the future.
"We want to ensure that customers have as few obstacles as possible while transacting with us, purchasing from us, and getting value from our offerings. And that's where a lot of the disruption is going to start occurring in terms of different payment methods and payment possibilities," he said.
The global retail behemoth has long been speculated to be working on implementing cryptocurrency payment support; however, only false alarms have arisen to date, such as the September 2018 press release announcing a purported partnership with Litecoin.
As of October 2021, over 200 Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs were installed in Walmart shops across the U.S., with intentions to extend this number to 8,000 at a later date.