Walmart Prepares to Capitalize on The MetaverseBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Wed, 01/19/2022 - 10:01
Walmart filed seven trademark applications related to digital currency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual goods seemingly in preparation to capture the potential of the new economic frontier presented by the Metaverse. While the company declined to confirm its intentions, the move has undoubtedly signaled to other market participants that the Metaverse market is worth exploring.
"Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. We do not have anything further to share today, but it is worth noting we routinely file trademark applications as part of the innovation process,” a company spokesperson told Motley Fool.
Irrespectively, the filings suggest that the company may have constituted a formal “digital currency strategy and product roadmap” in addition to identifying “crypto-related investment and partnerships,” two significant objectives outlined in a job posting made last August. This is supported by the language of the propriety software, which coincidently specifies it is designed to manage blockchain coding, which enables the virtual transfer of cryptocurrencies and NFTs across virtual spaces. Possible adaptations include launching its own cryptocurrency, NFTs and digital e-wallets.
"Downloadable software for use in managing portfolios of digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, digitized assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens and utility tokens, downloadable software for electronic wallet services, downloadable e-wallets,” are some of the applications mentioned in the text.
The acquired trademarks to create and sell virtual goods are relevant mainly in the context of a virtual world. According to the patent application, the on-line retail store will feature virtual merchandise, namely, electronics, appliances, furniture, home décor, toys, sporting goods, apparel, personal care products and more. Walmart’s initiative shows that it believes it can capitalize on this emerging market, a significant indicator to other retailers that are still grappling with a belated e-commerce rollout. Throughout the year, similar announcements can be expected.
“All of a sudden, everyone is like, ‘This is becoming super real and we need to make sure our IP is protected in the space,’” said Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney.