• According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Mastercard filed the applications on Monday last week. 
  • Mastercard's applications suggest it may be planning to create NFTs and virtual payment systems for the metaverse.
  • Mastercard struck a payment deal with Coinbase in January to become its payment partner.

Payments company Mastercard has applied for at least 15 crypto- and metaverse-related trademarks, according to data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office payments giant Mastercard filed 15 cryptocurrency, metaverse and NFT related trademark applications on April 4th. 

Mastercard's applications include trademarks for virtual cards and payments in the metaverse, an application to create NFTs, an NFT marketplace, as well as a marketplace for crypto assets in general.

"Provision of an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of downloadable digital goods and media authenticated by non-fungible tokens (NFTs)," one of Mastercard's applications, serial number 97346029, read. 

Another application includes plans for downloadable music files which would be backed up by NFTs, as well as other multimedia assets like artwork, text, audio and video – all of which would be authenticated by NFTs. American patent lawyer Mike Kondoudis noted the applications on Twitter.



The global payments company also filed to create virtual cards that would allow them to take payment for goods and services in the metaverse, including debit, credit and prepaid cards. This is just the company's latest play in the space as it previously partnered with crypto exchange Coinbase in January to offer a series of crypto services. 

The cryptocurrency exchange announced in January that it had enlisted the help of Mastercard to improve customer experience when purchasing digital collectibles by classifying NFTs as digital goods. This, according to Coinbase, will allow a wider group of consumers to purchase the digital collectibles.

Following the applications for virtual payment system trademarks, NFTs and more, Mastercard also filed an application for events and performances in the metaverse, in the field of finance, cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Events have become more popular as brands look to widen the net and attract more attendees, especially as COVID continues to complicate travel plans, international events and festivals. One such example was the Australian Open being held in the Decentraland metaverse, where NFTs were sold so fans could own a piece of the court.

The idea of the metaverse, which is widely attributed to sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, grew in popularity in 2021 after Facebook announced it would be rebranding as Meta and pivoting its business towards the development of the digital world. Shortly after that, Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan wrote the virtual world could be worth $8 trillion.

Furthermore, investments in metaverse-linked companies is rising. In the last quarter of 2021 alone, almost $1.9 billion of venture capital funding went to AR and VR start-ups, according to Crunchbase data.

Research shows the metaverse market could grow more than 20% this year, before exploding more than 1,300% by 2030, according to Statista research. In 2022, its estimated size will be $47.48 billion, and $678.8 billion within eight years, Statista said. 

Mastercard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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