Walmart is taking a dive into the world of crypto and digital assets, based on trademark filings first discovered by reporters at CNBC.
The retail giant filed several trademarks near the end of last month that indicate their intention to create a new cryptocurrency, plus a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.
One filing describes trademarks that encompass several use cases of NFTs and digital currencies, including:
- “Provision of an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of downloadable digital art images authenticated by non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”
- “Providing an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of digital currency assets: providing an online marketplace for buyers and seller of downloadable and non-downloadable art, music, documents, sounds, games, and images authenticated by non-fungible tokens.”
“They’re super intense,” Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney told CNBC.
“There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here.”
In a statement to CNBC, Walmart declined to disclose any specifics, but said it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.”
“We are testing new ideas all the time,” the company said. “Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”
Commenting on the avalanche of different companies getting into NFTs, such as clothing giants like Adidas, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton, or musicians like Kings of Leon or Shawn Mendez, Gerben said that big enterprises are starting to react to the growth of the space.
“All of a sudden, everyone is like, ‘This is becoming super real and we need to make sure our IP is protected in the space,’” said Gerben.