Arkansas-headquartered retail giant Walmart, among one of the largest retail chains in the United States and the world, has started selling Bitcoins on their retail shelves. However, these Bitcoins are made of chocolate and coated in a gold foil wrapper.
Keen-eyed Redditor u/TheKayleMain snapped a photo of a local Walmart stocking its shelves with chocolate candy Bitcoins.
The candy Bitcoins are much like the gold foil-covered chocolate coins commonly found around St. Patrick’s Day. Peeling back the gold foil reveals a delicious treat inside and not the decentralized cryptocurrency.
While actual Bitcoin is currently trading around $7,350 at the time of this writing, Walmart is selling these Bitcoins for the “everyday low price” of $1. Also unlike actual Bitcoin, these candies likely aren’t held to a fixed supply, the price doesn’t fluctuate, and you don’t need to pass an extensive know-your-customer identify verification process to buy some.
Walmart featuring a candy version of the leading cryptocurrency by market cap is great exposure for Bitcoin. Collectively, Walmart is visited by 270 million customers each week across more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries.
The image shared on Reddit shows the chocolate Bitcoins residing on an “end cap,” known as highly sought after retail space that has added visibility for passersby.
Walmart’s Real Ambitions Around Blockchain
Chocolate Bitcoins being featured at Walmart is great exposure and good fun, but Walmart does have some more serious ambitions around blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
The United States retailer has filed a number of blockchain-related patents in recent months, with the most recent patent filing featuring a system for “autonomous electronic devices,” or robots, that can conduct package deliveries.
“[i]n exemplary embodiments, two autonomous electronic devices, such as delivery drones or household autonomous robots, can authenticate each other using embodiments of security procedures described herein.”
Most of Walmart’s blockchain patents revolve around the supply chain, which is an industry that could potentially be revolutionized thanks to blockchain’s immutable ledger technology.
Walmart also recently patented a system for the scheduling of deliveries or products purchased through their website. The patent envisions using blockchain-based delivery hubs that use the public ledger to track available and reserved units, then deploy them for shipment based on a schedule. The technology could be coupled with another Walmart blockchain patent on temperature-regulated “smart packages” for perishable goods.
The retailer also filed a blockchain-related patent for a retail reseller platform. In this system, a customer registers an item at the time of purchase. The customer then assigns a resale price to the purchased item and lists the item in a blockchain-based marketplace.
Walmart will offer it to a seller who sets their price point similarly to the customer reselling the product they just purchased from Walmart, keeping the resale transaction and customers bound to Walmart’s own ecosystem.
Featured image from Shutterstock.