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Visa is going full crypto based on its latest trademark applications

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(Kitco News) - Financial services giant Visa appears to be exploring the development of digital wallets for customers based on two trademark applications filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Oct. 22.

Records show that the Visa International Service Association is looking to trademark its well-known VISA logo, referred to as its “character mark,” to be used in software that allows users to “view, access, store, monitor, manage, trade, send, receive, transmit, and exchange digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”

The application went on to list a variety of activities that the company is exploring with the intent to use its character mark, including “providing virtual environments in which users can interact for recreational, leisure or entertainment purposes accessible in the virtual world.”

This suggests that Visa is exploring its options in the Metaverse and wants to make sure that all the paperwork is in place to be able to market its brand to visitors in virtual reality.

A second filing further spells out the company's intentions in the digital asset sector, showing that it is seeking clearance to help facilitate all manner of transactions on blockchain networks, including “secure electronic cash transactions and electronic cash transmissions over public computer networks to facilitate electronic commerce.”

The payment processor is also looking to provide “cryptocurrency payment processing services, and cryptocurrency exchange services featuring blockchain technology.”

As esports and play-to-earn (P2E) continue to see rising interest from the public, Visa wants to be able to market in these up-and-coming sectors the same way it has in traditional sporting venues through “financial sponsorship of sporting competitions, events, activities, and games in the virtual world.”

The firm is also looking to help aid the public in its transition to using digital wallets and blockchain technology by “providing a digital wallet that stores customer account information and enables them to make point-of-sales transactions, access coupons, vouchers, voucher codes and rebates at retailers and to obtain loyalty or monetary rewards that can be credited to their accounts via a cash-back system.”

This would help simplify things by bringing all rewards and loyalty programs together in one location for easier management.

The new applications are part of Visa’s long-term engagement with the crypto sector as it slowly gains adoption on a global scale. In October 2021, Visa unveiled its NFT program prior to acquiring one of the popular CryptoPunk NFTs in a bid to gain a “first-hand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.”

Over 40% of the top public companies are utilizing blockchain technology

Recently, several of Visa’s competitors have also made moves to address the growing interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, including PayPal and Western Union.

Just last week, Western Union filed similar trademark applications looking to offer a variety of services, including the ability to manage wallets, exchange digital assets and commodities derivatives, issue tokens of value and offer brokerage and insurance services.

And it's not just large, multinational payment providers who are showing an increased interest in services related to cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the Metaverse.

According to data provided by NFT trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis, thus far in 2022, the USPTO has received more than 4,600 trademark applications that include or relate to NFTs, over 4600 trademark applications for Metaverse and/or virtual goods or services, and over 4300 trademark applications for digital or cryptocurrency products or services.

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