With major companies such as JP Morgan and VISA recently filing for trademarks related to crypto intellectual property, it marks the continuation of major brands entering the sector. Though the markets are down compared to last year, this hasn’t stopped companies from continuing to gain a foothold in the world of crypto, possibly gearing up for the next big run.
Why Are Major Brands Interested in Crypto?
There’s a very simple answer to this question: money. Major brands don’t want to be left behind or risk losing market share to other companies that do enter the crypto sector. Competition pushed both Nike and Adidas started trying out NFTs (non-fungible tokens) at around the same time, neither wanting to risk the other having some sort of advantage over a potentially key demographic.
Demographics are the other reason that major brands are interested in crypto. The population, especially under the age of 30, is increasingly connected to devices and the internet, including blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This means that as time passes, there will be more and more opportunity to make money with this demographic, as long as these companies set up the infrastructure to do so. Selling the new virtual generation products either in that virtual world or through it could be incredibly profitable long-term.
Brands That Have Crypto Foothold
Below we’ve noted some of the major brands that have a position in the crypto sector, along with what that position is. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we’ve tried to include all the biggest players.
Nike acquired a company called RTFKT in December 2021. RTFKT leverages the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality. This will allow Nike to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences for its customers.
McDonald’s hasn’t entered the crypto sector though NFTs like many of the brands on this list, rather they’re accepting cryptocurrencies as payments at various locations worldwide. This includes Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT).
Starbucks launched an NFT program called Odyssey. Starbucks Odyssey offers customers “journeys”, which are a series of activities, such as playing games or completing challenges to deepen their knowledge of coffee. Users will then be rewarded for completing these journeys with a digital collectable known as a ‘journey stamp’, an NFT.
Gucci has been somewhat of a pioneer for major brands entering crypto. Apart from creating NFT wearables and NFTs for games like Sandbox and Roblox, the retailer accepts crypto payments at nearly all of its stores. Customers can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, ApeCoin, Dogecoin, USD Coin, and more to pay for goods directly, in person, or online.
Visa recently filed for trademarks related to the crypto sector in the form of a crypto wallet and an NFT marketplace. The payments giant wants to be able to accept crypto payments using their network apart from already having partnered with many exchanges and firms to provide payment processing such as for the Crypto.com Visa.
Adidas entered into the sector around the same time as Nike, buying real estate in the virtual Sandbox world, in addition to collabing on an NFT drop with Bored Ape Yacht Club. They also recently used their own Bored Ape NFT in their 2022 FIFA World Cup ad.
Coca-Cola has been dabbling with NFTs for a while and recently announced a collaboration with Crypto.com to release NFTs that celebrate the 2022 FIFA World Cup. There will be 10,000 NFTs available that are based upon heatmaps from the matches of the World Cup.
Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi has also been using NFTs. In December 2021 they launched their first Mic Drop Collection. It was launched on the Ethereum blockchain and there were 1,893 NFTs available, a number based upon the year Pepsi was born.
Ford Motor Company
Ford might have the most interesting crypto foothold of all the major brands here. They want to use cryptocurrencies to ease traffic and also allow people to pay others in order to pass them. They filed a patent with the US Trademark and Patent Office for a “cooperative vehicle” platoon that allows vehicle-to-vehicle communication through a crypto network.
Instagram recently agreed to a deal with the Polygon Network which will allow Instagram creators to create and sell NFTs through the network and be sold through Instagram. This will add value to the creator economy and hopefully help push further adoption of crypto.
As the world becomes increasingly connected by the Internet, the opportunity for profit to be made by major brands in the crypto sector will also increase. Because of this, these major brands feel the need to enter the sector, even if in a modest sense.
With time, these brands will further expand upon their foothold and it will be exciting to see what changes take place as they do so.