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08/16/2021

Walmart job posting suggests major bitcoin push

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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cryptocurrency

Walmart is looking for a director-level executive to oversee digital currency and cryptocurrency products.

In a LinkedIn job listing posted early in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 15, Walmart is advertising the new position of digital currency and cryptocurrency product lead. According to the posting, the new position will be responsible for “developing the digital currency strategy and product roadmap.” Specific responsibilities include owning and driving the digital currency strategy for Walmart, identifying customer needs and translating them into product requirements, and identifying crypto-related investments and partnerships.

Walmart does not currently accept bitcoin or other cryptocurrency payments. In July 2021, chief rival Amazon (which also isn’t accepting cryptocurrency payments at this time) posted an advertisement for a similarly-titled position of digital currency and blockchain product lead.

This sparked widespread speculation that Amazon was planning to accept digital currency payments, and possibly even launch its own proprietary cryptocurrency. However, Amazon publicly denied having any plans to accept or develop cryptocurrency, only admitting it has interest in the space.

Bitcoin is nearly-anonymous, decentralized, peer-to-peer online currency which is based on blockchain technology. Blockchain serves a real-time, single ledger verifying all transactions conducted on the blockchain network. Other retailers that have recently begun accepting or plan to accept bitcoin payments include NeweggSheetz, and Camping World.

[Read more: Accepting bitcoin payment: Three X factors to consider]

Electric auto retailer Tesla began accepting bitcoin following a major corporate investment in the cryptocurrency in February 2021, then said it would not accept bitcoin due to concerns over the amount of energy required to digitally “mine” bitcoin. The company recently shifted course again, saying it will accept bitcoin payments once miners can prove approximately half of the energy used in mining bitcoin comes from clean sources. 

In 2019, Facebook said it would launch Calibra, a subsidiary designed to let consumers have access to and participate in the bitcoin-based Libra cryptocurrency network. However, later that year, Facebook advised it was not sure when or if Calibra and the Libra cryptocurrency would come to fruition. Reports indicate Facebook may attempt a limited launch sometime in 2021.