Innovation processes are increasingly accelerated in a fast-paced world, and it is better to arrive as soon as possible in case it is necessary. This is what El Corte Inglés must have thought to register the name of what could become a cryptocurrency, Bitcor.
In a play on words with the most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, the company governed by Marta Álvarez registered both that name and the phrase “Bitcor El Corte Inglés” last March. Both trademarks are being processed at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
In the classification of activity of the registry, El Corte Inglés specifies that it would be for the ‘type 36’, which includes “financial, monetary and banking services; insurance services, real estate matters”.
In this way, the Bitcor could go from a cryptocurrency itself to an exclusive payment unit for the establishment (like the old Disney Dollars that were used in Mickey Mouse theme parks), or serve as a discount points card for future purchases, among many other possibilities.
This does not mean, at least for the moment, that El Corte Inglés plans to access the world of cryptocurrencies imminently, nor would it certainly be the first major company to do so. The supermarket chain Walmart already filed a patent registration in 2019 under the name WalmartCoin, which would have parity with the dollar and which would facilitate payment to customers in establishments.
In addition, JP Morgan launched its cryptocurrency last year – also patented in 2019 – which serves as a payment and deposit currency. The bank had been testing an interbank information network based on the blockchain since 2017.
More ambitious was the idea of Facebook, which announced its cryptocurrency Libra – today called Diem – as an online payment system, with a closed chain system – unlike bitcoin, with an open blockchain. The doubts of the regulatory bodies about the dominant position of the social network and the use of personal data has meant that to this day it still does not see the light, despite the assignments that the project has been making to avoid suspicions.
At the beginning of this year, at least 4,000 cryptocurrencies had been registered on the planet and their capitalization is currently close to 2.5 trillion dollars, more than the GDP of Italy or three times the market value of Visa and MasterCard combined.