In what appears to be a surprising coincidence, three financial services giants, PayPal, Visa, and Western Union, have filed new trademark applications involving crypto and Web3-related products and services in the past week.
Western Union focusing on digital currency
On October 18th, Western Union submitted three trademark applications citing intentions for managing electronic wallets, virtual currency exchange and transfer, trading and brokerage of cryptocurrencies, issuing value tokens, and more. WU aims to release "downloadable software for generating cryptographic keys for receiving and spending cryptocurrency."
PayPal working on crypto-related services
The word "crypto" is mentioned 18 times in PayPal's trademark application, starting with "downloadable software for sending, receiving, accepting, buying, selling, storing, transmitting, trading and exchanging digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, stablecoins, digital and blockchain assets, digitized assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens and utility tokens."
PayPal now allows customers to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) and send them to external wallets, but it is still developing its own cryptocurrency wallet.
Visa planning to offer crypto wallet and metaverse
Last but not least, Visa has submitted two trademark applications with a number of Web3 ventures in the scheme. According to Visa's filings, the firm is considering creating a "cryptocurrency wallet," describing it as "software for 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)."
Visa may also open shop in the metaverse, as it is mentioning "providing virtual environments in which users can interact for recreational, leisure or entertainment purposes accessible in the virtual world."
Indeed, trademark applications are often defensive legal actions, and they don't ensure that the covered goods and services will actually be produced and offered for sale. However, they do show that a business is aware of a potential future market and wants to be ready to enter it.