All indications are that Walmart, the retail giant, is about to join the metaverse and create its own cryptocurrency and NFT collection.
At the end of last month, Walmart filed for registration of several new trademarks that indicate its intention to produce and sell virtual goods.
In a separate filing, the company said it would offer virtual currency and NFTs to users.
At the moment, virtual goods are expected to include electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products – a total of 7 applications. The company has so far declined to comment on exactly how it intends to use the permits, but explained that it is constantly researching “how new technologies can shape the future of shopping experiences.” It is reported by cnbc.com.
“We are constantly testing new ideas,” the company said. “Some ideas become products or services that reach customers.”
According to trademark lawyer Josh Gerben, “There is a lot of language in the filings that shows that behind the scenes there is active planning for their own cryptocurrency and implementation in the metaverse.”
Large companies are rushing into the metaverse. Some large companies have already managed to fit into the history of the creation of the virtual world. In early November, Nike filed a series of trademark applications alleging its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Later that month, the company announced that it was teaming up with Roblox to create an online world called Nikeland. In December, the company bought virtual sneaker company RTFKT.
Suddenly everyone thought: “Virtual reality is already with us, and we need to make sure that our intellectual property is protected in this space,” says Gerben.
Gap has also started selling NFT their iconic logo sweatshirts. The apparel manufacturer said the NFT prices will range from $8.30 to $415, and the buyer will receive the actual item along with the NFT.
Simultaneously with the above companies, debut NFTs from Under Armor and Adidas were sold out. Now they are being resold at sky-high prices on the OpenSea marketplace.
An analytic report from CB Insights outlines some of the reasons why retailers and brands are looking to present virtual versions of their products.
The launch of NFT allows businesses to tokenize physical products and services, and thereby reduce the cost of online transactions, the report says. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for expensive physical goods, the study notes.
It should be expected that as more consumers become familiar with the metaverse and goods stored on the blockchain, more retailers will want to create their own ecosystem around it.