Retail giant Walmart submitted seven patent filings. This indicates plans to create its own digital currency as well as NFT collections.
Walmart, the retail giant, appears to be preparing to enter the metaverse. Patent filings indicate that Walmart plans to create its own cryptocurrency (and nonfungible token) collection.
On Dec. 30, the multinational retailer filed several trademarks with US Patent and Trademark Office. However, they were not noticed until Sunday’s report by CNBC which shed more light on Walmart’s ambitions.
Walmart filed seven patent applications in total at that time, three of which were under its existing advertising division “Walmart Connect.”
Plans to create and sell virtual goods, including electronics, toys, and apparel, were included in the applications. The applications also include mentions of a digital currency and token, as well as opportunities to purchase and sell NFTs.
A separate application proposes to trademark the Walmart brand and logo in virtual reality and augmented reality (AR). This would allow for the introduction of “physical fitness training services” within VR and AR.
This comes as the latest in a string of recent events indicating Walmart’s interest in the metaverse. In August, the retail giant listed a job vacancy for a “digital currency and crypto product lead” to drive digital currency strategy.
The job listing has since been removed, but it is unclear whether the role was filled. A LinkedIn search for a person working at Walmart with the role turns over no results.
Back in October, Walmart also partnered with crypto ATM company Coinstar and crypto-cash exchange Coinme to install 200 Bitcoin ATMs in its stores across the United States.
In addition, Walmart has been using blockchain technology for supply chain management, customer marketplaces and smart appliances since 2018.
According to analysts from Morgan Stanley, the metaverse could present an $8trillion opportunity for retailers.
During the third quarter of 2021, Walmart saw sales reach $11.1 billion, according to Digital Commerce 360. Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S., with a market capitalization of over $406 billion. It operates a chain of supermarkets, discount department stores and grocery stores.