Walmart to accept payments with cryptocurrencies using litecoin


Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart, the biggest retailer in the U.S., will accept cryptocurrency for payments from shoppers, the company announced on Monday.

The payments option will utilize litecoin, which jumped more than 20% Monday in reaction to the news.

“The momentum and excitement around the use of cryptocurrency are undeniable, and we are poised to make online shopping easy for our customers,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a news release. “By integrating litecoin, we will enable shoppers to experience a very smooth checkout experience with near instant transaction confirmation, and near-zero fees regardless of where in the world they are.”

Litecoin is one of the oldest of the cryptocurrencies, often thought of as a digital silver to bitcoin’s digital gold. Like bitcoin, it’s decentralized and uses the same code, but is faster and cheaper.

Walmart famously tried and failed several times to obtain a banking license beginning in 1999, but it has adopted an aggressive fintech strategy in recent years as the growing industry allows legacy businesses ways to innovate on how their customers interact with them. Most recently, the retail giant said earlier this year that it will launch a fintech start-up with Ribbit Capital, one of the investment firms behind Robinhood.

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