Retail giant Walmart filed several new trademarks late last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual versions of several products – electronics, home decor, etc. In at least one filing, the company indicated it would offer users virtual currencies and NFTs.
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed applications for seven patents on Dec. 30, 2021.
“They’re super intense,” Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney in Washington DC, told CNBC. “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.”
Walmart joins the Gap and GameStop as the latest retailer to move into NFTs. According to a Decrypt report, the Gap’s NFTs will launch on the Tezos blockchain, with its NFTs will get priced in tiers ranging from about $8 to over $400, and each NFT purchase will come with a physical hoodie.
No word yet on what you’ll get if you swing on Walmart’s upcoming Great Value Twist & Shout Chocolate Sandwich Cookies NFT (which I just made up, but is probably a thing that will happen given a long enough timeline).
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,” the company said. “Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”
Walmart declined to comment on its patent filings.
Walmart still hasn’t taken the most important step – accepting crypto in its stores and online – but it seems to be moving in the right direction, however slowly.
The real takeaway, however, is that major companies with lots and lots of analysts and smart people are taking the metaverse and NFTs very, very seriously.
Sources: CNBC, Seeking Alpha.