In the future, Walmart may be embracing the metaverse with open arms.
On December 30, the multinational retail corporation filed a series of trademark applications to establish its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to a report from CNBC.
Along with the creation of a virtual currency, Walmart’s seven total applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate its intent to create and sell virtual goods –– electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products.
“We are testing new ideas all the time,” said Walmart in a recent statement, adding that it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.”
Walmart’s move builds on its recent adoption of virtual shopping experiences.
In 2020, the retailing giant partnered with TikTok on a shoppable pilot allowing TikTok users to shop from Walmart’s fashion items without leaving the app. Over the 2021 holiday season, Walmart launched an augmented reality (AR) store in Snapchat’s “Snap Holiday Market.”
Walmart’s trademark filings are not its first foray into cryptocurrency. In late October 2021, the company announced that customers would be able to purchase Bitcoin on ATM-like machines installed by Coinstar.
There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located in select Walmart stores across the U.S.
But Walmart is not alone in its interest in expanding retail into virtual spaces. More name-brand companies are doing this in creative ways.
Samsung launched a virtual store in the metaverse using 3D open-source platform Decentraland. Adidas sold out of its “Into the Metaverse” NFT collection. Gap is pricing NFTs of its classic hoodies between $8 and $400.
And in November, Nike also filed trademark applications to sell NFTs and virtual sneakers.
While Walmart’s applications may signify future moves toward crypto and NFTs, no specific plan has been announced.
The trademarks will not be legitimately registered until they go into actual use.