The Next Metaverse Stock Could Be...Walmart?

A new report indicates one of the world’s largest retailers is pushing into the metaverse, which would likely support a future multitrillion dollar opportunity for the emerging sector.

What Happened: Walmart Inc WMT has filed trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a future presence in the metaverse, according to a report from CNBC.

A total of seven applications were submitted including a filing to make and sell virtual goods across the categories of electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products.

A trademark attorney told CNBC the filings were super intense and signal a real desire to get into the metaverse.

“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 the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here,” trademark attorney Josh Gerben said.

Gerben told CNBC there has been an increase in companies filing metaverse related trademarks ever since Facebook rebranded as Meta Platforms FB and signaled its big push into the metaverse.

“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.’”

Walmart also signaled its intent to launch its own digital currency and non-fungible tokens in the future.

Related Link: New Metaverse ETF Launches From Roundhill Investments: What Investors Should Know 

Why It’s Important: The trademark spotlight report from CNBC follows an old video made for Walmart by a marketing agency in 2017 highlighting the metaverse.

The 2017 video was tweeted by @DigitalisHomo in a post that said “how Walmart envisions shopping in the #metaverse” and viewed 11.4 million times and shared on Twitter Inc TWTR over 34,000 times.

Nike Inc NKE has signaled its intentions to push further into the virtual world with the acquisition of digital sneaker company RTFKT and a collaboration with Roblox Corp RBLX for Nikeland.

Adidas ADDYY partnered with several well-known NFT projects to launch its own NFTs and plans on growing in the space.

The announcement of NFTs by Walmart come as many public and large companies are appealing to new and legacy fan bases.

PepsiCo PEP, Anheuser-Busch InBev BUD and others have launched NFT collections. Companies like Gap Inc GPS and Coach have launched NFT that also provide utility with a connection to physical items along with the digital goods.

Walmart has a huge network of customers, and its push into the metaverse could be a major validation moment for the sector. While some have brushed off the metaverse, including Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk calling it a “marketing buzzword,” others see the opportunity as very real.

Investors are actively seeking out ways to make money in the metaverse from NFTs, virtual land and public stocks with metaverse plans. The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF META launched in June 2021 and has amassed over $900 million in assets under management.

Photo: Courtesy of JJBers on Flickr

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