Sweet times for Bitcoin candy

Cryptocurrency fans with a sweet tooth will be eager to learn that a new Bitcoin has been launched – made entirely of chocolate! The sweet treats come courtesy of American retail giant, Walmart, and are being hailed: “The Modern Currency in Chocolate.” The coins look just like the typical chocolate treats that are popular children’s Christmas stocking fillers and are covered in gold foil. They can be found for sale in Walmart retail outlets that have lined their shelves with bags of the chocolate candy coins.

Buyers can unwrap the chocolate bitcoins gold foil to uncover the delicious milk chocolate treasure – rather more appealing and much tastier than the virtual form of decentralised currency! The coins are for sale for a price of one single dollar for a 1.48-ounce mesh bag of six –considerably cheaper than the actual Bitcoins which trade for around $7,350 each. They are being promoted with the tagline ‘Everyday Low Price’ and the beauty of buying the confectionery version of Bitcoin is that their prices don’t fluctuate and you can just pick them up them off the shelf and chuck them in the trolley and pay for them at the till, rather than wading through an extensive customer verification process.

Readers have shared images of the chocolate bitcoins on Reddit, the American social news hub, who have spotted them while doing their daily shopping and the snaps have generated a lot of interest on crypto online forums. It’s a clever Public Relations stunt for both Walmart and Bitcoin – the largest cryptocurrency on the market – and will no doubt draw attention to crypto – putting it in the spotlight before the general public who may not be aware of it. The coins are positioned in what is known in the retail world as an ‘end cap’ – a prominent promotional shelving space in a retail outlet which receives lots of passing traffic from shoppers.

As Walmart is one of the largest retailers in the world - boasting nearly 12,000 stores including hypermarkets, department stores and grocery shops based in 28 countries across the globe, which are visited by over 270 million customers per week and employing around 2.3 million workers - this will guarantee a great deal of exposure for the chocolate Bitcoins.

The chocolate bitcoins have been created by the candy manufacturer, Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company, which is based in Philadelphia. Both Frankford and Walmart have remained mysteriously tight-lipped about the promotion. However, crypto commentators are hailing the quirky gimmick as a huge step in bringing Bitcoin into the mainstream public’s consciousness.

Although Walmart does sell Bitcoin merchandise, such as books and guides to cryptocurrency, through its online stores, the chocolate bitcoins appear to be the Walmart’s first foray into crypto trading but could signal the first of many crypto ventures for the multinational company. Now the multinational corporation will be acting as an intermediary through which potential investors can buy Bitcoin via the company’s Walmart2Walmart money transfer operation.

Apparently, the US retailer, which has its headquarters in Arkansas, has filed numerous block-chain related patents during recent months including a system for ‘autonomous electronic devices’ or robots which are capable of carrying out packing for deliveries and programmed to use distributed purchase ledger technology systems for the scheduling of deliveries and retail reseller platforms. In 2016, Walmart launched a new initiative to improve food safety by using blockchain technology, in partnership with Tsinghua University and IBM and earlier this summer, it won a patent for a new blockchain system of housing medical records.

Times certainly look sweet for Bitcoin with such a heavyweight retail giant behind it.

By Joy Lewis.