Source: siecledigital.fr

Walmart looks to be considering a move into the metaverse, with plans to launch its cryptocurrency and collection of nonfungible tokens or NFTs.

The big-box store submitted numerous new trademark applications late last month, indicating its intention to manufacture and sell virtual items, including electronics, home decoration, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products. A subsequent filing by the business said that it will provide customers with a virtual currency in addition to NFTs.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart submitted the applications on December 30.

Walmart Trademark Application. Source: news.bitcoin.com
Walmart Trademark Application. Source: news.bitcoin.com

There have been a total of seven distinct applications filed to date.

Retail giant Walmart stated in a statement that it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.” It does not want to comment on the individual trademark applications.

“We are testing new ideas all the time,” the company said. “Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”

“They’re super intense,” said Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney. “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.”

In his statement, Gerben said that since Facebook announced that it will be changing its corporate name to Meta, signifying that it has goals beyond social media, companies have been scrambling to find out how they would fit into a virtual world.

A spate of trademark applications was submitted by Nike in early November, giving a glimpse into the company’s intentions to offer virtual branded footwear and gear. Later that month, it announced that it will be collaborating with Roblox to develop an online realm known as Nickel and. In December, it acquired the virtual shoe business RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) for an unknown sum, according to reports.

“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 Gerben.

Gap has recently begun producing non-traditional versions of their trademark logo sweaters. The clothing company said that its NFTs would be priced in levels ranging from around $8.30 to $415 and that each will include a physical hoodie as well.

Meanwhile, both Under Armour’s and Adidas’ NFT debuts sold out within hours of going on sale last month. As a result, they’re fetching exorbitant prices on the NFT marketplace OpenSea.

According to Gerben, fashion companies Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, and Abercrombie & Fitch have all submitted trademark applications in recent weeks indicating their intention to create a virtual shop of some kind.

According to research from CB Insights, some of the reasons why retailers and brands would wish to embark on such endeavors, which have the potential to generate new income streams, are as follows.

According to the company, the introduction of NFTs enables firms to tokenize real items and services in order to cut online transaction costs. NFTs may also be used as a kind of verification for real and valuable objects, according to CB Insights. Luxury businesses such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton have benefited from this.

Gerben believes that as more customers get acquainted with the metaverse and the things recorded on the blockchain, more shops will want to build their ecosystems around it.

As Frank Chaparro, director of crypto information services provider The Block, points out, many merchants are still hurting from the consequences of being late to the e-commerce party, and they don’t want to lose out on any chances in the metaverse.

“I think it’s a win-win for any company in retail,” Chaparro said. “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.”

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