Though no purchase has been announced, Walmart’s inevitable allocation to bitcoin will jump start a ripple of hyperbitcoinization.
Let me make this clear: Walmart has not announced a purchase of $1 billion worth of bitcoin. But it will and let me tell you what’s going to happen when it does.
MicroStrategy, Square and Coinbase are multimillion-dollar companies traded on NASDAQ with big bitcoin bags, but the everyday American could care less. Ask your average Joe how he feels about Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy purchasing of 91,326 bitcoins and you’ll probably get a “What is Bitcorn?” and “Michael who?”
Walmart, on the other hand, is a different story because it’s the epitome of working class America. Built off the back of America’s mom and pop, it is now the world’s largest company by revenue raking in $548 billion in 2020. When Walmart adds $1 billion of bitcoin to its balance sheet, you’ll have that same average Joe’s full attention. It will create the ultimate exposure for Bitcoin to blue collar Americans and trigger a global monetary paradigm shift that is long overdue.
As Walmart’s tentacles reach into 24 countries, a Bitcoin tidal wave will blast through its world of ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail operations. Walmart sources products from more than 100 countries, bringing globalization to Middle America. Instead of having to deal with complex currency conversions with global suppliers, Walmart will accept bitcoin, which will negate the headache of dealing with dozens of fiat currencies. This will simplify accounting and streamline operations. With no middleman bankers pirating off of transactions, the only thing separating Walmart from its global partners will be oceans (if the miners don’t boil them first).
Once Walmart dips its toe in the proverbial Number Go Up pond, the obvious next step is to roll out accepting bitcoin in its 11,000-plus locations. We’re talking a full node at every checkout. Let’s assume a simple 10 percent discount (on top of Walmart’s already everyday low prices) is offered to customers who choose to pay in bitcoin. For our average Joe who’s living paycheck to paycheck, 10 percent off is a game changer. Legions of couponing soccer moms will discover how to pay in bitcoin and soon find out that holding anything but BTC is a losing game. At this point, Walmart is purchasing bitcoin at the corporate level and dollar-cost averaging via customer purchases.
When Walmart’s employees see bitcoin being offered as a discounted form of payment, they will no doubt begin to demand “Pay Me In Bitcoin.” This means that every pay period, as paychecks clear, there will be a new motherfucking floor set. Let’s do some back-of-the-napkin math. Let’s assume that all 2.2 million Walmart employees are on minimum wage and they’re working about 30 hours per week. Right now, the federal min wage is $7.25 per hour.
$7.25 per hour x 30h hours per week x 2.2 million employees = $478.5 million paid per week.
Now, let’s assume employees have the option to put 10 percent of that paycheck into bitcoin. That would be $47.85 million per week being paid out in bitcoin. That’s $2.48 billion a year being paid out in bitcoin. That’s around 45,090 BTC (with BTC at $55,000) a year. That’s calculating the most conservative numbers of minimum-wage employees at one U.S. company. Millions of Americans who have watched their savings melt away like an ice cube will see how Bitcoin gives them the ability to turn dirty fiat vapor into clean, hard, unmeltable money. Walmart will put bitcoin into the wallets of every American. Once Americans see their Bitcoin number go up and their fiat number go down, they will think to themselves “in retrospect it was inevitable.”
The hyperbitcoinization that will happen inside the Walmart corporation cannot be contained and it will overflow into the society of the Walton family. As an Arkansan, I can tell you that no other family has more influence over the State of Arkansas than the Waltons, who are the majority shareholders of Walmart (okay, maybe the Clintons, but I don’t want to get murdered). The Walton’s are notorious boosters of the University of Arkansas. The family gave $195 million to the school in 2020 alone. It’s only a matter of time before a more-than-generous and continuous stream of bitcoin donations start to flow to the university’s endowment. The ripple effect of a university having such a large stake in the Bitcoin game will be a vortex for similar universities in adding BTC to their balance sheets. Adoption of Bitcoin is the only chance universities will have at keeping their heads above water. They will have the choice to sink or swim, to adapt or drown in the polluted sea of fiat education.
By Walmart putting cash reserves in bitcoin, pricing goods and services in bitcoin and paying its employees in bitcoin, the Austrian economic vision of the best money winning will unfold. Walmart will single-handedly deliver a circular Bitcoin economy. The corporation will create a wake for the average Joe to drift into the Bitcoin standard, throttling the world one step closer to hyperbitcoinization. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when and how much longer the $380 billion Walmart corporation wants to have fun staying poor.