Walmart in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain
Walmart entered the blockchain industry back in 2018, but it’s only since last year that it has explicitly become interested in cryptocurrencies.
Its interest in digital currencies is undoubtedly also due to the acceleration this year in the development of digital currencies by central banks. If they were actually put on the market, they would have to rush to enable them as a means of payment alongside their current versions.
However, since a few months ago, several hypotheses have been put forward regarding the adoption of cryptocurrencies themselves as means of payment to make purchases at Walmart.
Walmart seeks crypto expert to oversee digital currency push
On August 16, emerging reports confirmed that Walmart, a Northern American retail giant, seeks to hire an expert in cryptocurrency and digital payments.
In an official announcement on the Walmart careers page, the company confirmed that it is hiring a Digital Currency and Cryptocurrency Product Lead. Based on the announcement, the new role aims at boosting development of a digital currency strategy and crypto product roadmap in the firm.
Walmart also posted a new job advert on its website and its career platform on LinkedIn a few hours ago. The new position seeks an expert in Digital Currencies, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain related technologies before Walmart starts accepting cryptocurrencies and digital assets as payments:
“We’re seeking a visionary leader who has a history of leading and scaling businesses.
This year, Walmart created a fintech venture called “Hazel,” which could reportedly be poised to offer a wide range of financial services integrated into a “mobile-first ‘super-app.‘”
Walmart’s future Digital Currency and Crypto Product Lead would be based in the company’s home office in Bentonville, Arkansas. In addition to developing and driving an overall crypto strategy, their key tasks would involve identifying customer needs and translating them into product requirements; forging partnerships with product, technology and design leaders; committing to a crypto product roadmap and driving the project’s execution; and identifying crypto-related investment opportunities and partnerships.
Among North American megafirms, Walmart is not alone in seeking to integrate digital currency into its e-commerce and wider business strategy.
In fact, yesterday, it posted a job ad on its official Linkedin profile in which it reveals that it is looking to hire a director permanently to work on internal projects related to cryptocurrencies and digital currencies.
The ad reads:
“We are seeking a visionary leader who has a history of leading and scaling businesses. You will have a proven track record of building innovative solutions to customer problems by leveraging new technologies and customer insights.”
The company is looking for a true “passionate about Digital Currencies” to work in the payments industry at what is effectively one of the world’s largest online sales companies.
The sought-after figure will play the role of head of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies within the company and will also be responsible for developing the strategy and roadmap.
But, Amazon refuted any reports that it would accept Bitcoins (BTC) payments at that time.
On several occasions, Walmart has adopted a warm approach towards cryptos and digital currencies as it continues embracing different crypto-related projects.
Two years ago, Walmart applied for a patent on a stable crypto token similar to Facebook’s Libra. In February 2021, Walmart also onboarded StormX, a blockchain-based reward platform, with StormX offering a 4% crypto back incentive for all Walmart purchases at the time.
Furthermore, Walmart has successfully experimented with blockchain technology for non-financial purposes including, tracking drugs and food along the supply chain.
Wednesday it hired veteran white-collar enforcement expert Matthew Miner as global chief ethics and compliance officer.
Miner joins Walmart from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s white-collar litigation and government investigations practice in Washington. Miner had returned to the firm’s partnership in January 2020 after spending nearly two years as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division.
In his new role at Walmart, he reports to former Justice Department colleague Rachel Brand, who now serves as an executive vice president of global governance, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant.
Walmart, whose founding family recently hired a former Cravath, Swaine & Moore tax partner to help manage their business affairs, is the largest private employer in the U.S.
Covid-19 by Oct. 4.
Brand, in a statement, called Miner a “nationally respected talent in the compliance field” and said his “expertise and experience with enhancing compliance programs make him the right leader to help take our program to the next level.”
During his time at the Justice Department, Miner managed the criminal division’s appellate and fraud sections. In the latter role he oversaw roughly 180 federal prosecutors handling fraud cases throughout the U.S.
Prior to Main Justice, Miner spent five years at Morgan Lewis, which hired him in 2012 as part of a team leaving White & Case, where he spent two years as a partner.
White & Case hired Miner in 2011 after he worked for more than five years as an attorney for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
North American retail giant Walmart is looking for an experienced crypto expert who can develop and drive an ambitious digital currency strategy and product roadmap.
In the listing for the role, Walmart indicates it is looking for someone who has a track record in leading and scaling businesses, with at least 10 years of experience in product/program management and technology-based product commercialization. The ideal candidate would have expertise in cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related technologies and in-depth knowledge of the crypto ecosystem and its core actors.
Walmart has hinted at the focus of its future digital currency strategy by noting that it already enables a “broad set of payment options for its customers” — although not yet in cryptocurrency. Back in 2019, Walmart had already filed a patent for a blockchain-based U.S.
David Searle, Trujillo’s successor as Walmart’s international ethics and compliance chief, to be its compliance leader.
Bertrand “Lance” Lanciault III, chief ethics and compliance officer for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce arm, left the company in February to become head of compliance and risk at Peloton Interactive Inc. Timothy Cheatham, another longtime Walmart lawyer, jumped to the general counsel role at The Michaels Cos. Inc.
Walmart has also made additions to its in-house team.
It hired Kutak Rock partner Dale Brown as a managing counsel in June after adding Emily Buchanan last year as a director of ethics and conflicts of interest.
Walmart Inc. is preparing to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show, setting the stage for meeting its customers in the emerging metaverse.
The retailer sought several new trademarks in December that show it intends to make and sell virtual goods such as electronics, decor, toys, sporting goods and personal-care products.
The applications, which were first reported by CNBC, represent a significant step for the retail giant as it studies how to participate in the metaverse, a virtual world that blends aspects of digital technologies.
The retail giant also seeks to hire a Bachelor’s Degree holder with more than ten years of experience in product management, technology commercialization, and more experience with the cryptocurrency ecosystem and related technologies.
The newly created position advertised by Walmart comes in barely a month after its rival e-commerce giant, Amazon, posted a relatively similar job ad for a Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Product Lead.
In late July, the Payments Acceptance and Experience team at Amazon posted a job ad for an “experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap.”
The move sparked widespread speculation that the online shopping giant would be accepting crypto payments.
Before that he served as a federal prosecutor in Alabama and litigation associate at Dechert in Philadelphia.
Miner said in a statement that he’s “thrilled” to continue his legal career at Walmart.
“Walmart has long been a leader and innovator in the business community and that same spirit carries over to the company’s dedication to compliance,” he said.
Miner replaces former ethics and compliance chief Daniel Trujillo, who left Walmart earlier this year. Walmart hired Trujillo in 2012 from oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd. to lead its international compliance efforts. He took over Walmart’s top ethics and compliance role in 2019.
Walmart’s addition of Miner comes after several other lawyers, including some ethics and compliance employees, left the company.
In March, Tesla Inc.