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Walmart CTO predicts that crypto will be a major disruptor in the payments industry

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(Kitco News) - The world's largest retailer Walmart is keeping a close eye on the adoption of cryptocurrencies, according to Suresh Kumar, the firm's global chief technology officer, who suggested that "crypto will become an important part of how customers transact" for both physical and virtual goods.

Kumar made the comments during a discussion at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on Oct. 17, where the CTO referred to cryptocurrencies as a "major" area of disruption in the payments sector. 

"I think that there are three major areas of disruption. Crypto falls in sort of the middle of it," he said, adding that "the way in which customers are getting inspired and discovering products" is changing.

Kumar explained that cryptocurrencies are primed to contribute toward technological disruption in product discovery, payment and delivery.

"When you specifically talk about crypto, it is going to be about discovery of products, whether it is physical or virtual inside, either the Metaverse or upfront, and then how people transact."

The Metaverse, in particular, is of high interest to Walmart, as evidenced by the launch of 'Walmart Land' in the Roblox Metaverse in late September. Walmart Land is host to a variety of virtual experiences, including games, a DJ booth and a Ferris wheel, and virtual merchandise products called "verch" for users' avatars.

"I have talked before about the way in which customers are getting inspired and discovering products – that is changing – and part of that is going to happen in the Metaverse," Kumar said.

Mastercard launches platform to help banks offer crypto trading

The CTO went on to suggest that marketing to customers through the Metaverse, live streams and social media apps are going to be a main focus of the company and that crypto could be a key payment option in these areas.

"We want to make sure that we make it as friction-free for customers to be able to transact and to be able to buy, and how they are able to derive value out of it. And that is where – I think a lot of the disruption is going to start happening in terms of different payment methods, different payment options," he said. "Crypto is going to continue to play a very important role in that."

Along with its developments with Roblox, Walmart filed seven patents at the end of 2021 that deal with NFTs and the Metaverse. 

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