Walmart Heads to the Metaverse, but Will it Accept Bitcoin ? – TheStreet

Attention Walmart  (WMT) – Get Walmart Inc. Report shoppers: the company is looking to clean up big in the metaverse.
Like so many other companies, the world's largest retailer is making its move into the metaverse, a virtual world that can be a little tricky to describe.
Walmart, which is scheduled to report earnings on Thursday, filed several new trademarks in December that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products.
Walmart also said it would offer users a virtual currency, as well as NFTs.
The company joins a growing list of companies diving into the metaverse, including McDonald's  (MCD) – Get McDonald's Corporation Report, Victoria's Secret, Panera Bread, and Nike  (NKE) – Get NIKE, Inc. Class B Report.
Disney recently posted a notice looking for someone to aid the entertainment and media giant's efforts in the non-fungible token, or NFT space.
Walmart's plan is creating a lot of buzz in some circles but at least one analyst has some reservations.
"That Walmart is venturing into the metaverse arena is good news for the journey onto mainstream adoption for this growing technological trend," said Dmitry Mishunin, the founder and CEO of a smart contract audit company HashEx."However, some of the company’s plans might be misguided."
While the NFT ambitions are understandable, Mishunin said the company's cryptocurrency plans might stir crackdowns from regulators just as Facebook parent Meta Platform’s  (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report failed Diem (formerly Libra) project was prevented from seeing the light of day.
Facebook sparked a lot of metaverse buzz when it changed its name to Meta in October.
The social media giant had been working on a project to let people to use its dollar-backed stablecoin, Diem, to make transactions, after it tempered its original cryptocurrency ambitions over regulatory backlash.
But news reports last month said the Menlo Park, Calif., company is selling off its technology assets that were part of its proposed virtual currency unit Diem Association to San Diego-based bank Silvergate for $200 million.
"Walmart’s plans to sell virtual goods are typically expected to hit off to a good start as the retail company will act right by doing all it can to give new products and experiences to its customers," Mishunin said. "Pending when its patents will be approved, there remains speculation about the likelihood of Walmart accepting ethereum."
He said that it should be noted that perhaps in the early stages they will use ethereum, but now there are large commissions for transactions and it is not clear whether Walmart will be ready to take such expenses, or pass it onto their customers.
"At the moment, some crypto payments companies or exchanges with payments cards can allow transactions in ethereum," Mishunin said, "but these are converted and received as Dollar by Walmart."
He added that this provision "may be what will be embraced in the mean time until the firm’s metaverse ambitions materializes."
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