Walmart & the Metaverse
Walmart's aggressive push into the Metaverse is more important than what many dismissive technologists may lead you to believe.
The conceptual AI may miss the mark, in many eyes, but the push in this direction will be impactful in packing powder to the snowball of momentum blistering down the mountain that the Metaverse has seen over the last few months.
Walmart's margins are razor thin, very often, so the opportunity to be a first-mover to Metaverse-specific commerce could be a favorable play to occupy an important historical positioning that would be favorable relative to slower moving tech behemoths.
The integration of cryptocurrencies into the Walmart experience will be interesting because brands with far more modest followings have seen tremendous traction with their projects and Walmart, as the 800-pound gorilla, could very well have at least as significant an impact, helping to buttress their bottomline.
Their specific patent push on NFTs is of particular interest because of the fickle nature of NFT marketplaces. OpenSea has historically been the trailblazer, but Nifty Gateway Rarible LooksRare and numerous entrants have popped up and done well within weeks. These platforms earn 2.5%, or thereabouts, on millions of monthly transaction volume.
Very often you'll see an NFT platform or blockchain rope in a single celebrity and make a huge splash with an NFT release that sees proceeds in the tens of millions. What if IMG, Netflix, or companies with integrated relationships with literally every A-list, and below, influencer in Hollywood begins to integrate NFTs into press packets or promotion for forthcoming movies as a way of crowdfunding films or projects. The risk mitigation angle is enough to send some smaller studios in this direction. If it works with them, the big guys will follow suit.
Case law for art, digital or otherwise, is far more ironed out than laws involving cryptocurrencies, which many regulators have deemed to be a de facto securities.
Jim Preissler was telling me that "[while] It is true that not all tokens are necessarily securities, the reality is that a large percentage of them likely are according to the SEC and its regulatory lens. There is a matrix of precedents, of which the Howey Test is one, that help determine what is a security in the US.
For example, courts have also found the existence of an investment contract when investors reasonably relied on the promoters’ efforts to create a secondary trading market for an instrument, even if that instrument would not have been a security on its own."
Thoughtful A-list celebrities like Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis have ventured into the world of NFTs first because it's far more permissible in the US and avoids the hornets nest of potential securities laws complications. Even within LA, you can weekly see art shows in influential Venice galleries of NFT only artists!
#NFTs and the #Metaverse have arrived.