It looks that retail behemoth Walmart Inc. is getting ready to enter the Metaverse. With patent filings showing that it aims to build its own cryptocurrency and NFT collection.
On December 30, the multinational retailer registered many new trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark but they went unreported until a CNBC article on January 16 shed additional light on Walmart’s plans.
At the time, Walmart had filed seven patent applications, three of which were under its current advertising subsidiary “Walmart Connect.”
Plans to develop and sell “virtual items,” such as electronics, toys, appliances, clothes, and home decor, were included in the applications. However, There’s also talk of a “digital money” and a “digital token,” as well as buying and selling NFTs.
In the meantime, a separate application reveals plans to trademark the Walmart brand name. Then, and logo in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), with the possibility of launching
“physical fitness training services” in VR and AR.
This is the most recent in a series of incidents suggesting Walmart’s interest in the Metaverse. The retail behemoth posted a job opening in August for a “digital currency and crypto product lead” to spearhead its digital currency strategy.
Although the job posting has since been taken down, it is unknown whether the position has been filled. A search on Linkedin for someone in the role at Walmart yields no results.
Walmart has teamed with Coinstar, a crypto ATM firm, and Coinme, a crypto-cash exchange, to deploy 200 Bitcoin ATMs in its shops across the United States in October.
Walmart has also been using blockchain technology since 2018 for supply chain management, customer markets, and smart products.
According to Morgan Stanley analysts, the Metaverse might provide retailers with a $8 trillion potential.
According to Digital Commerce 360, Walmart’s sales reached $11.1 billion in the third quarter of 2021. With a market valuation of over $406 billion, Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States. It owns and operates a hypermarket, discount department store, and grocery store chain.
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