Mercedes make fresh moves in the metaverse despite bankruptcy

Mercedes recently dropped their partnership with cryptocurrency exchange FTX, after the company went bankrupt.

Mercedes-Benz appear to be looking into the future, with the German manufacturer having filed five trademark applications for their very own non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The Silver Arrows have an interesting relationship currently with cryptocurrency, with the Mercedes F1 side having recently seeing their partnership with FTX quite literally vanish.

The cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy to the shock of the crypto market, with the site believed to have been in a “$8 billion financial black hole”, according to Autosport.

Mercedes were bitterly disappointed with what happened to FTX, especially given that team principal Toto Wolff is a huge believer in the crypto world.

READ: Helmut Marko reveals Red Bull have to pay $1mn Max Verstappen fee

“It’s difficult, because we all know crypto has relevancy,” Wolff said.

“I strongly believe in blockchain as a way of transactions in the future. But this situation is very unfortunate, even more that FTX.

“We considered FTX because they were one of the most credible and solid, financially sound partners that were out there. And out of nowhere, you can see that a crypto company can basically be on its knees and gone in one week.

“That shows how vulnerable the sector still is. It’s unregulated, and I believe it needs to find its way into regulations because there are so many customers, investors, partners like us that have been left in utter disbelief at what has happened.”

Article continues below

Despite this setback, the manufacturer in general is pressing on with immersing itself into the metaverse, with the company having filed to trademark the names “Mercedes Benz, Mercedes, S-Class, G-Class, and Maybach,” according to licenced trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis.

Reportedly, Mercedes are wanting to trademark the names to develop NFTs, for cryptocurrency trading, for virtual vehicle parts, financial services, and for virtual clothing and goods.

READ: Christian Horner calls Daniel Ricciardo ‘stupid’

The manufacturer submitted its applications on 14 December, to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Mercedes aren’t the first manufacturer to make moves in the virtual world, with Hyundai being the first vehicle manufacturer to issue community-based NFTs, something they did earlier this year in April.

McLaren too have their own limited-edition NFTs, with Ford having also recently gone in a similar route to Mercedes by filing their applications to trademark several names, as have Formula 1.