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Walmart Plans To Develop Its Own Cryptocurrency And NFTs

Walmart (WMT), the world’s biggest retailer, is planning to create its own cryptocurrency and a collection of non fungible tokens (NFTs).

The big-box retailer filed several new trademarks late last month that indicate its intention to make and sell virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products. In a separate filing, the company said it would offer users a virtual currency, as well as several NFTs.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed the applications on December 30 of last year (2021). In total, seven separate applications were filed. In a statement, Walmart said it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.”

Athletic apparel company Nike (NKE) filed a slew of trademark applications in early November that previewed its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Later that month, it said it was teaming up with Roblox to create an online world called “Nikeland.” In December, Nike bought the virtual sneaker company RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) for an undisclosed sum.

Retailer Gap (GPS) has also started selling NFTs of its iconic logo sweatshirts. The apparel maker said its NFTs are priced in tiers ranging from roughly $8.30 U.S. to $415 U.S. and come with a physical hoodie.

A new report from CB Insights outlined some of the reasons why retailers and brands might want to make cyber ventures, which can potentially offer new revenue streams.

Launching NFTs, for example, allows businesses to tokenize physical products and services to help reduce online transaction costs, the report said. And for luxury brands, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods.