The job posting, which was listed on LinkedIn, was immediately noticed in the retail industry. The role asks for a leader who can develop the digital currency strategy and product roadmap for Walmart, with an expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain-related technologies.
Amazon also recently made headlines after it posted a job announcement for a “digital currency and blockchain product lead” in late July. The postings from both Amazon and Walmart are stirring speculation that the mass retailers are looking to make an entrance into the digital currency world. In fact, Amazon’s job advertisement had an immediate impact on the price of Bitcoin, one of the most well-known digital currencies.
Retailers have been leveraging blockchain technology for some time. Earlier this year, a consortium of luxury brands, including LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Prada and Richemont, teamed up to create a blockchain solution called Aura that authenticates luxury goods.
However, the volatility and unpredictability of cryptocurrency markets have kept many retailers and businesses at bay. Large price swings have made cryptocurrencies less than attractive as a form of payment for retailers, although that may be changing. Sheetz, a convenience store chain based in Pennsylvania, announced in June it would soon accept Bitcoin as payment, with the acceptance of other crypto coins to come in the future.
Overstock.com announced 7years ago that it would take Bitcoin as payment, but the e-commerce retailer ended up losing millions of dollars over time and was forced to refocus later. Similarly, automaker Tesla recently reversed its decision to accept Bitcoin as payment, which sent the price of the coin downward.
Walmart’s new role signals the retailer may be looking for opportunities in the space, although any hope of Bitcoin’s acceptance as payment—or that of any other cryptocurrency—is speculation at this point.