Walmart is Preparing to Enter the Metaverse
Walmart appears to be foraying into the metaverse, with plans to launch its own cryptocurrency and NFT collection.
Walmart isn't the first marketer to express its interest in the metaverse, but a significant effort to expand its services might help to drive more general use of technology such as cryptocurrency, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in particular.
Late this month, the big-box retailer filed several new trademarks indicating its intention to manufacture and sell virtual items, such as electronics, home decor, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products. Walmart said in a separate filing that it will offer consumers a virtual currency in addition to NFTs.
Walmart filed the applications on December 30th, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Metaverse-related technologies, like NFTs, haven't served a marketing purpose beyond one-off stunts or generating headlines. However, firms like Walmart are interested in the bigger vision of what the metaverse may become, with shared virtual environments serving as a venue for customers to try out experiences and products before making digital goods purchases as they design their online avatars and living spaces.
Walmart is the world's largest retailer, reaching a wide audience of customers, and competitors may follow Walmart's lead in increasing their bets in order to avoid losing an early-mover edge in a market that some see as the next generation of the internet.
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