Walmart files to create its own cryptocurrency

America’s largest retailer leads corporate interest in metaverses

Walmart store                                 
Walmart says it continuously explores how emerging technologies shape shopping – Photo:Shutterstock

America’s largest retailer, Walmart, is preparing to launch its own cryptocurrency and develop a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to filings first highlighted by CNBC

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, at the end of 2021 Walmart filed a trademark application for “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”.

Another filing outlined plans for “downloadable software for use in managing portfolios of digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, digitised assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens and utility tokens”.

Web 3.0

Since Facebook rebranded as Meta, a number of prominent corporations have announced their intention to participate in the development and popularisation of Web 3.0 – including virtual reality (VR) technology and decentralised, token-based finance.

One of the seven filings made with the US Patent and Trademark Office described: “On-line store services featuring virtual merchandise, namely electronics, appliances, indoor and outdoor furniture, home decor, toys, sporting goods, outdoor recreation, health, beauty and personal care products” – among many others. 

Future shopping experiences

Responding to press interest about its recent filings, Walmart declined to comment on specific filings but stated that it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences”.

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

At $145.06, Walmart stock is trading almost exactly where it traded 12 months earlier.

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