The metaverse is rapidly expanding, and companies seem eager to join the race to achieve the next stage of digital transformation.
There’s certainly no shortage of companies itching to enter the virtual worlds of the metaverse, but some entrants to this space have certainly inspired more surprise than others. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Jan. 19, contributors Rachel Warren and Jose Najarro discuss one household name company that is reportedly joining the metaverse race.

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Rachel Warren: This was probably the last company I would have ever thought would be entering the metaverse. Over the weekend, CNBC reported Walmart (NYSE:WMT) “is quietly preparing to ensure the metaverse”.

According to the article, “Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs. The big-box retailer filed several new trademarks late last month that indicated its intent to make and sell virtual goods. In a separate filing, Walmart said it would offer users a virtual currency as well as non-fungible tokens or NFTs.”

I’m really curious guys. What do you think of this news? What do you think maybe it means for Walmart shareholders as the company expands into the metaverse race? What’s another company that you think could soon get in on the metaverse fun? Jose, why don’t you take this one first?

Jose Najarro: Yes, this is interesting. Very similar to you, Rachel. I never would’ve thought Walmart would be one to enter this market. First, I want to talk about the virtual currency. I think the virtual currency is nothing new in the major market, especially in gaming and gaming companies.

You have companies like Roblox that have their own Robux, so their virtual, their own cryptocurrency to some extent. I would believe if that’s where Walmart would want to go. It’s something cool.

But personally, it wouldn’t make me want to purchase more or less at Walmart. I don’t think it would be a big move changer. NFT, that one is very interesting because NFTs can be used for various reasons. For example, just purchasing and being able to show your membership or your Walmart.

I don’t think Walmart has a membership. They have Walmart Plus, I think. So a way to showcase your membership to some extent can be used with NFT. Again, nothing too crazy or nothing that would move stock price.

Now, the second part of the question a company that would soon join the metaverse. One that jumped into my head was McDonald’s in their kids meal. I don’t know if they still do, if they give toys. But when you purchase at McDonald’s, maybe you get like a free NFT, your child gets a free NFT. I think that would be pretty interesting if they go that direction.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.