Walmart exploring cryptocurrency, filings show
Filings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate that Walmart could be planning to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
On Dec. 30, Walmart’s filings showed it intended to buy new trademarks to make and sell virtual items like electronics, decor, toys, sporting goods and personal-care products. Separately, the company also said it would offer virtual currency and NFTs, according to CNBC.
“Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. 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,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.
Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney, told CNBC that ever since Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta and showed a desire to reach beyond social media, other companies have explored how they might keep up to fit into an increasingly digital world.
Gerben predicted that more retailers will want to create an ecosystem around the virtual world as consumers become more familiar with the metaverse and items on the blockchain.
He cited apparel retailers Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch, which have filed trademarks with the intention of opening some kind of virtual store. Additionally, Gap has begun to sell NFTs of its logo sweatshirts which have prices ranging from $8.30 to $415 and come with a physical hoodie. Under Armour and Adidas also both debuted NFTs which sold out last month.
Last year, Walmart made headlines related to cryptocurrency after a fake press release was published announcing Walmart customers would soon be able “to seamlessly make payments with cryptocurrencies.”
–Updated at 1:44 p.m.