Walmart Prepares to Jump into Metaverse, NFTs, and Crypto
According to CNBC, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, submitted seven patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in December. Walmart’s ambitions to develop its own cryptocurrency, NFTs, a prospective payment system, crypto financial services, and more were detailed in those documents.
Walmart’s aspirations to produce and sell virtual items such as electronics, home décor, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products are mentioned in one of the applications. In a virtual- or augmented-reality scenario like the metaverse, such digital representations of actual things would make the most sense.
Additionally, an excerpt from one of the applications stated, “Downloadable software for use in managing portfolios of digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, digitised assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens, and utility tokens, downloadable software for electronic wallet services, downloadable e-wallets, downloadable software for electronic wallet services, downloadable e-wallets.”
While the eventual applicability of these patent applications is unknown, the following snippet describes many of the operations most typically associated with cryptocurrency trading exchanges and crypto financial services.
A Walmart demo film from five years ago showing shopping remotely using a virtual reality headset, replete with Walmart shopping assistant, has reappeared and is spreading on social media.
The film is disturbing and curiously alienating, but it fleshes out a metaverse vision that Walmart envisioned years ago and is now finetuning with these patent filings. Automatic payments using “Walmart Pay” and automated age verification via a non-fungible token application on the blockchain were also addressed in the film.
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The trademark registrations are the retail behemoth’s latest foray into the bitcoin world. The worldwide big-box retailer began a pilot test in October, allowing certain consumers to purchase Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks in select U.S. shops. The trial initiative employs 200 Coinstar machines that allow consumers to exchange coins for gift cards or cash.