Walmart Files 7 US Patents Examining Potential Monetization of NFTs, Metaverse

Walmart is exploring the possibility of introducing its customers to NFTs and the metaverse, according to filings with the USPTO


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Walmart is exploring the possibility of introducing a “virtual currency for use by members of an online community…in the field of NFTs”
  • The retail giant is also looking at providing a means for customers to interact with the metaverse and providing financial services involving crypto

Retail giant Walmart has filed several patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking to register a number of services and offerings related to the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency.

Holly Lar, Senior Counsel for Intellectual Property at Walmart has filed a total of seven related applications on behalf of the retail giant. The news was first reported by CNBC late Sunday.

According to the applications, filed Dec. 30, Walmart is exploring the possibility of introducing its customers to a “virtual currency for use by members of an online community…in the field of NFTs” as well as “financial transaction services involving cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology.”

NFTs are digital assets that provide proof of ownership over virtual and real-world assets which can also interact with the blockchain in unique ways. Since bursting onto the scene in early 2020, NFTs have sparked a vibrant movement and an active market valued at over $40 billion. Walmart appears to be positioning itself for a slice of that pie.

Other detailed patent applications further list Walmart’s ambitions to explore monetizing the metaverse by offering customers “downloadable augmented reality software, downloadable mixed reality software, virtual reality software for interactive entertainment and virtual reality gaming.”

The metaverse refers to virtual worlds whereby several technologies are combined to create an online 3D- gaming, social and interactive experience.

Though Walmart’s patents are by no means a definite confirmation it will act on them in the future, the retailer said it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences,” according to CNBC’s reporting.

Walmart did not comment on the specific trademark filings.

“We are testing new ideas all the time,” Walmart said. “Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”

It’s not the first time Walmart has filed applications with the USPTO relating to crypto. In 2019, the retailer filed an application for a stablecoin backed by real-world currency to service those “low-income households that find banking expensive.” Though that application has yet to be expanded upon.

The new applications will be assigned to an examining attorney in roughly six months’ time.

See one of the seven applications listed below:

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