Is Visa making a bigger play in the overall crypto market? The global payments giant has filed for two crypto-related trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The applications were filed on October 22, 2022, following the path of American Express and the New York Stock Exchange who both filed for similar patents in 2022. Visa’s patents relate to digital wallets, NFTs, and the metaverse. They’re the latest in a series of moves by global entities that are helping push crypto adoption forward.
Crypto Wallets, NFT, and Metaverse Trademarks
The trademark applications were first reported by Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney, on Twitter on October 27, 2022. As seen in the image below, Visa is interested in a few areas of crypto. Mastercard has been expanding their foothold in the sector as well, possibly spurring Visa’s move.
Visa Crypto Trademark Application: Source Michael Kondoudis, ESQ.
The section regarding “providing temporary use of non-downloadable software” which people can use for a variety of purposes, is referring to the creation of some sort of cryptocurrency wallet. Visa already partners with 60 crypto firms, including wallet providers and cryptocurrency exchange platforms (such as Crypto.com), to enable crypto payments wherever Visa is accepted, which is over 80 million merchants worldwide.
By creating their own wallet, they could potentially cut out the need for these other crypto firms and exchanges and manage crypto payments on their end instead. Exactly how they may provide this service is unclear, but it would certainly involve their own proprietary crypto wallet.
Providing some sort of non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse (online, virtual world) experience for consumers is another aspect of the patent. Visa, along with companies like Starbucks, are trying to get in on the ground floor and create a consumer experience in virtual worlds with bonuses for holding their NFTs.
Very quickly, NFTs are tokens that exist on the blockchain and cannot be replicated because of the metadata attached to it. This can be an image, video, song, or in-game accessory. In Visa’s case, there is no hint yet as to what type of NFT they’ll be releasing or what its function will be.
Boon for Crypto Adoption
While Visa isn’t the first company to look into the creation of a digital wallet, considering their current place as a global payment processor, it could certainly help foster adoption if someone with their reputation releases a crypto wallet. Adoption seems to be on the rise, with places such as Lugano in Switzerland adding support for Bitcoin and Tether payments at its merchants, in addition to allowing taxes to be paid in crypto.
Even in this current crypto winter, with markets seeming more uncertain than ever, companies want to gear up for the next crypto run. Apart from the aforementioned companies, PayPal, Western Union, Formula One, eBay, and Ford have all filed patent applications with the USPTO over the past year. This makes it clear that companies are anticipating some sort of crypto adoption and mainstream appeal over time.
Visa itself has been trying to gain a foothold in the sector for years now, and with a fair amount of success considering the number of partnerships with crypto firms and exchanges they have. The company has been planning on adding cryptocurrency trading on its network since early 2021. These latest patents are just their next steps in helping push forth crypto adoption.