Walmart Trademarks Hint Big Move into Cryptocurrencies
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Walmart Trademarks Hint Big Move into Cryptocurrencies

5mo ago

Separate documents discuss "online retail store services featuring virtual merchandise" — including electronics, furniture, toys and household essentials. In other words, a metaverse.

Walmart Trademarks Hint Big Move into Cryptocurrencies

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Walmart has filed a flurry of trademark applications that reveal the retail giant is seriously looking into cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.

In one document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 30, 2021, the grocery chain said it is exploring:

"Financial services, namely, providing a digital currency and a digital token of value for use by members on an online community via a global computer network."

The application goes on to discuss "financial transaction services involving cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology."

Separate documents discuss "online retail store services featuring virtual merchandise" — including electronics, furniture, toys and household essentials. In other words, we could soon see a metaverse offering.

And in a sign that Walmart could have the likes of PayPal and Coinbase in its sights, other applications talk about:

"Downloadable software for use in managing portfolios of digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, digitized assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens and utility tokens."

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What Does This All Mean?

A trademark application does not guarantee that a company will use it, but does provide precious insight into its thinking. Remaining tight lipped in a statement, a spokesperson said:

"Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. We don't have anything further to share today, but it's worth noting we routinely file trademark applications as part of the innovation process."

As of 2019, Walmart was the biggest retailer in the world, boasting revenues of $517 billion. Because of this, any concerted push into the world of cryptocurrencies would be major news to say the least.

So far, the company's experimentation has mainly been restricted to blockchain technology — enhancing its supply chain and ensuring that food deliveries can be tracked at every stage. This is seen as a compelling safety measure because of how the blockchain can speed up recalls when something goes wrong.

Back in October 2021, Walmart did announce that its customers will be able to purchase Bitcoin at 200 Coinstar kiosks as part of a trial. But given how the retail giant has 4,743 stores in the U.S. alone, this isn't a big commitment.
Crypto announcements are something of a touchy area for Walmart given how it fell victim to a hoax last year. A bogus press release had declared that the company was going to accept Litecoin as a payment method. The story was broken by a number of mainstream news outlets and retweeted by the Litecoin Foundation itself, but was quickly debunked.
And earlier this month, a video started doing the rounds on Twitter that appears to show what Walmart's store could look like in the metaverse. It's been retweeted thousands of times — but unfortunately, the clip is five years old.
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