Trademark filings reveal Walmart’s plans to create its own cryptocurrency and a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), suggesting the retailer’s appetite to make and sell virtual goods in the metaverse.
First reported by CNBC, the US retail giant filed seven trademarks on 30 December 2021 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The applications outline Walmart’s interest in making and selling virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products.
In a statement, Walmart said it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences […] 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.”
Alongside a slew of retailers planning to capitalise on the opportunity the metaverse presents, financial services firms such as Lynx and eToro have announced their plans to extend offerings in line with future Metaverse-based opportunities.
At the other end of the spectrum, Starling founder and CEO Anne Boden recently criticised Meta’s Metaverse plans in her annual letter. On noting that in 2006 a bank opened a branch in Second Life, Boden observed: “Fast forward a few years and see how much simpler it proved to be to provide 24/7 human contact via an app.”