Walmart seems prepared for an all-out blitz of the metaverse, thanks to a series of trademark filings that extend its central brand and logo across seemingly every imaginable application—including a full range of cryptocurrency, NFT and other metaverse services for suppliers.
But the 21 extensively detailed trademark filings on Dec. 30, first reported by CNBC, do not include anything that appears to be a proprietary Walmart cryptocurrency name. They appear to be mostly a matter of Walmart staking its claim to trademark real estate in the metaverse just in case any of those applications ever become real-world initiatives.
The filings extend the Walmart name, the Walmart Connect media business and their related starburst logos to almost every imaginable area of the metaverse, including virtual healthcare visits, NFTs and all manner of electronic transactions.
Among the more interesting aspects is the giant retailer moving to extend its Walmart Connect trademark—which covers advertising services for suppliers—across a range of offerings that include cryptocurrency-related financial services.
Though it has never opened its own bank, Walmart has long sought to make inroads into financial services. The retailer has, for example, its own money transfer service in partnership with MoneyGram that competes with Western Union and its own Walmart Pay digital wallet.
But the trademark filings cover the possibility of extending its reach deeper into financial services, by processing cryptocurrency transactions and potentially eliminating or reducing transaction fees, it has long struggled over with credit and debit card processors through decades of litigation. Conceivably, Walmart could let users set up their own cryptocurrency wallets online to cover payments either directly or to third-party sellers, bypassing financial institutions.
The filings also extend Walmart Connect to cover data and software services for suppliers, which the retailer has been developing via its Walmart Data Ventures unit and a partnership with Dunnhumby, which formerly was partly owned by rival Kroger Co. and still works closely with U.K. retailer Tesco.
There aren’t many specific new trademarks to suggest imminent activity, with three exceptions. The retailer has filed for “Verse to Store;” “Verse to Home;” and “Verse to Curb” trademarks that drop the “Meta” to cover Walmart site-to-store and Walmart+ delivery options from the virtual realm to the physical.