According to several trademark filings from late December, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), the giant retailer in the U.S. is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs – non-fungible tokens – with potential metaverse customers in mind. A total of seven trademark applications were submitted.
As reported by CNBC, Walmart is preparing a metaverse debut with trademark filings corresponding to the release of a cryptocurrency and an NFT collection. The retailer is betting hard on the shopping experience transformation through the implementation of emerging technologies.
In a statement, the company said, “We are testing new ideas all the time. Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben, with regards to these ideas, said “They’re super intense. There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here.”
He further said that, since Facebook’s announcement of the metaverse, several companies have started to devise ways to make new products and business models fit into the upcoming virtual reality.
A CB Insights reports points to the main drivers behind companies making their moves towards the metaverse.
The report states that “Launching NFTs allows for businesses to tokenize physical products and services to help reduce online transaction costs, it said. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods.”
Frank Chaparro, director at crypto information services firm The Block, said that companies do not want to arrive late to the metaverse as they did to e-commerce back in the day.
“I think it’s a win-win for any company in retail. And even if it just turns out to be a fad there’s not a lot of reputation damage in just trying something weird out like giving some customers an NFT in a sweepstake, for instance,” he said.
Walmart is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.