Walmart Inches Towards the Metaverse, Filing Trademarks - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

On December 30th, 2021, Walmart joined the Web3 wave, filing for seven trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for projects built within the metaverse. The filings indicate that Walmart could boast their own virtual currency, NFTs and online retail stores featuring digital, buyable products. 

With intent to produce and sell virtual goods, Walmart’s move marks retailers’ landmark shift into the metaverse and boasts crucial implications for competitors. The news also comes after Walmart altered a handful of their stores into fufillment centers to meet consumer demand for pickup and delivery services, a notable trade as the corporation looks to enhance their digital presence. 

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse receives sizable buy-in from major brands and investors, but what really is it?

Currently, the metaverse is a vision of a decentralized—in the sense that there are multiple platforms and no centralized control—virtual experience designed for consumers. Noted visions of the metaverse are accessible through VR gaming experiences, though there are numerous other “metaverses” that are being built to provide new digital environments where individuals can interact with cyber products and services. Walmart seeks to design a unique virtual shopping metaverse, based on the language used in their patent applications.

Walmart’s Move Towards “The Verse”

Beyond traditional e-commerce, the corporation stated that it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape the future of shopping experiences.” The trademarks range from a Walmart-specific cryptocurrency and NFTs to tokenize product purchases, to various AR/VR experiences like an online store, digital-physical training and nutrition services for customers.

Bloomberg likewise reported that the company filed trademarks for names such as  “Verse to Home,” “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Store,” further confirming the plan to create a virtual shopping environment in the metaverse. Though these applications have been filed, Walmart has shared that they have not yet begun developing products yet.

From Potentially Accepting Payments to Building the Metaverse

The news likewise comes after a fake report that Walmart would accept Litecoin, a popular altcoin, in September 2021. More recently in early December 2021, Walmart’s CFO Brett Biggs stated that the company would be open to allowing shoppers to pay in cryptocurrency, given that the demand was present. 

The move shows Walmart’s desire to be at the forefront of large-scale retailers. Though only filing for trademarks, it marks a massive leap in the company’s mentality as they seek to be an early mover in the Web3 scheme, alongside breaking into the decentralized world beyond just accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.


Gunnar is a Tech Innovation Fellow at Identity Review from the University of Chicago. He has worked with numerous Silicon Valley Venture Capital firms and is interested in defense technologies & contracting

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