Walmart is finalizing its push into the metaverse, according to trademark application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office at the end of 2021.
Just as companies managed to build their dynamic online presence and delved into social media, commonly referred to as “Web 2.0,” global brands are girding for a foray into Web 3.0. The next generation of the internet, also known as the metaverse, adds a ubiquitous, decentralized and open user experience that incorporates AI-based semantics as well as augmented and virtual realities, which brings new ways to interact with the physical and virtual worlds.
Walmart is finalizing its push into the metaverse, according to trademark application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office at the end of 2021. The retail giant seeks to offer blockchain-based virtual assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency, under its Walmart Connect brand.
“Amazon scooped Walmart with Web 2.0, so by getting into Web 3.0 early, it may be trying to leapfrog Amazon,” says Amanda Cassatt, co-founder of Mojito, which provides an NFT commerce suite that aids companies in bringing their intellectual property to the metaverse. “If you get in sooner, you can stake a claim as an industry leader, which is better than going [into the metaverse] as a follower, copying a trend.”
Cassatt explains that the metaverse is a new way for companies to monetize what they already own in the Web 2.0 or physical worlds: “Imagine if a brand holds the rights to a song in Web 2.0. That means they can make that song an NFT and sell it in Web 3.0.”
The metaverse enables companies to build new business lines and tap into new pools of liquidity without having to worry about supply chain costs and risks, according to Cassatt.
The glue that will hold the Web 3.0 economy together is a decentralized public blockchain, which records ownership of new assets like avatars, digital art and property, adds Rowland Graus, a product manager at smart contract platform provider Agoric: “NFTs will form the basis of long-term brand loyalty, which can be rewarded with anything from discounts to immersive media experiences.”
For those companies that remain skeptical, Cassatt says: “Web 3.0 native brands will eat their lunch.” Sound familiar?