Walmart Plans to Join the Metaverse With Its Digital Currency and NFTs
Retail giant Walmart intends to retain its magnanimous presence in the metaverse as well as the physical world with over a series of patents covering digital currencies, virtual goods, as well as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), CNBC reported.
Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook opened the floodgates for discussions and overt actions about the metaverse after it changed its iconic brand name to Meta. Until Zuckerberg made his move, discussions were fragmented in terms of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and alternate universes for online games. Meta may have consolidated them but Walmart's recent move is likely to bring them all under one roof.
As CNBC reported, Walmart filed a total of seven trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on December 30, just before the end of 2021. Notable among those are financial service patents for digital currencies or tokens in addition to a downloadable software platform for managing digital tokens, digital and blockchain assets, and cryptocurrencies.
Walmart's virtual merchandise will not be limited to clothing, books, or games but will also include household appliances, musical instruments, pet products, jewelry, beauty, and personal care products, indoor and outdoor furniture, art and craft supplies, and holiday and celebration supplies, among other things.
A trademark attorney told CNBC that the application revealed intense planning in the background about just how the retailer wanted to enter the metaverse. However, a Walmart spokesperson dismissed it as "an experiment to explore emerging technologies." Walmart's push towards digitalization is similar to other popular brands' attempts such as Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Ralph Lauren who had also filed trademark applications to open their own virtual stores, CNBC reported.
Some brands such as Gap, Adidas, and Under Armour have already released their NFTs, some of which were sold within hours of their release. We still need to wait to see to what extent and how Walmart will enter the metaverse with its crypto products, but it is likely to come in hot.
One of the the fields leading thinkers, Melanie Mitchell talks about why humans are unlikely to develop general AI anytime soon.