Walmart, the world’s largest supermarket chain, has disclosed its interest in creating a cryptocurrency and selling virtual goods in several trademark applications recently delivered to the Patent Office, CNBC reported Sunday.
The company delivered nearly a dozen applications to the regulatory body in late December in which it hints its intention to launch a virtual currency and a collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) assets, in addition to producing and selling virtual goods such as home appliances, clothing, toys, and personal care products.
Walmart would thus join a growing list of companies preparing to operate in the metaverse—an immersive virtual reality—such as Facebook, which changed its name to Meta for that reason; fashion retailers Nike and GAP; and Disney, the entertainment giant.
The supermarket chain avoided commenting on that possibility in a statement to the media, in which it said it is continuously “exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences” and pointed out that it “routinely” files trademark applications as part of the “innovation process.”
Walmart is the largest private-sector employer in the U.S., which, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen its e-commerce business growth strongly. According to its latest quarterly results, last November, it increased its sales in the U.S. by 87% compared to two years ago.