According to papers with the US patent and trademark office, Walmart Inc is planning to develop its own cryptocurrency and a collection of non-fungible tokens, or NTFs, paving the way for the company to meet its customers in the growing metaverse.
In December, the store applied for many new trademarks indicating that it intended to manufacture and sell virtual goods such as electronics, decor, toys, sporting goods, and personal-care items. The applications, first reported by CNBC, are a big step forward for the retail behemoth in its research into how to participate in the metaverse, a virtual environment that combines parts of digital technologies.
According to a job advertisement on Walmart’s website, a position was advertised in August to establish “the digital currency strategy and product roadmap” while identifying “crypto-related investment and collaborations.” The applications were among a flurry filed on Dec. 30, including three for a financial exchange for virtual currency and advertising under “Walmart Connect” — the name of the company’s existing digital advertising endeavour. For shopping services, applications were also made for “Verse to Store,” “Verse to Curb,” and “Verse to Home.”
The store is also rumoured to be seeking trademarks to use the Walmart name and “fireworks” logo in virtual and augmented reality healthcare and education. In an emailed statement, Walmart said, “Walmart is constantly studying how emerging technologies may affect future shopping experiences. We don’t have anything else to say today, but it’s important remembering that trademark applications are routinely filed as part of the invention process.”
The corporation has submitted all of the applications, suggesting that it wants to use them but has not yet done so. The trademarks would not be registered until after they had been used. In September, a high-profile hoax about Walmart’s cryptocurrency plans triggered a brief rally in litecoin, a relatively unknown cryptocurrency. Walmart would begin accepting litecoin payments, according to the false news release. Despite this, Walmart has continued to research and develop expertise in this area.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer began a test programme in October in which customers can purchase bitcoin at coinstar kiosks in several of its US stores. The test comprises 200 kiosks in Walmart shops, which are known for machines that allow customers to swap US currency for paper dollars or gift cards. Walmart’s chief financial officer, Brett Biggs, stated at an analyst conference in early December that the business was open to allowing consumers to pay in cryptocurrencies if they requested it, but that there was no need to hurry out such capabilities.