WHY THIS MATTERS
The metaverse is potentially a multi-trillion dollar opportunity – eventually – and companies are experimenting and laying their stakes already.
When it comes to the next hot new trend the metaverse is it, and everyone it seems want to claim their stake in this new digital wonderland. Now, hot on the heels of Facebook, now Meta, Walmart looks like it’s serious about getting into the metaverse as well after it filed three new patents with the US Patent Office for its own cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
The retail giant would be just the latest corporate player to wade into the emerging industry of virtual experiences and virtual worlds, referred to as the metaverse, which could include everything from offering digital versions of its products in the form of NFTs all the way through to selling virtual, metaverse experiences all, of course, paid for with a Walmart token.
At least three filings made on 30 December with the patent office indicate plans at Walmart to expand into digital assets and virtual experiences.
One trademark filing details the creation of a Walmart virtual currency, in addition to cryptocurrency exchange services using blockchain technology while a separate application to the USPTO describes downloadable software for uses ranging from E-Commerce to Augmented Reality (AR) as well as managing a portfolio of cryptocurrencies. And the third filing details the possibility of a Virtual Reality (VR) game or online retail service featuring a marketplace of digital goods authenticated by NFTs.
These goods could range from home appliances to sporting goods, beauty products, patio furniture, and musical instruments — all listed in the trademark application. And as for when all these new things might emerge, well the company had this to say:
“Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences,” said a spokesperson, “We don’t have anything further to share today, but it’s worth noting we routinely file trademark applications as part of the innovation process.”