What is the purpose of Walmart “encroaching” on Blockchain technology?
Walmart is currently using blockchain technology to create a food traceability system based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. Together with IBM, the world’s leading retail group tested 2 proof-of-concepts to test their systems.
The first project involved proactively tracing the origins of the mangoes sold across Walmart stores in the US. And the other project traces the origin of pork sold in stores in China. From the recorded effects Yes, the team at Walmart claims that these are projects that really work. Using this new system, the time required to trace the origin of a good has been reduced from 7 days to just 2.2 seconds.
So, why should they put in the effort to do these things? The answer is because over the past decade or so, the world has seen one of the world’s deadliest food safety scandals: large quantities of milk and powdered milk (all over China). ) contains melamine, a white solid derived from cyanamide, which may cause growth retardation in children.
Due to drinking milk containing this substance, more than 300,000 people were seriously affected both physically and mentally, 6 children died of kidney stones and organ damage (54,000 other children were hospitalized with similar symptoms). ).
The disturbing point of this fact is that whenever milk is found to contain melamine, it often takes days (or even weeks) to find out where the milk comes from. If goods could be traced faster, healthcare professionals would be able to act faster to protect the lives and health of consumers.
Now, thanks to the blockchain system powered by Walmart, Hyperledger Fabric, has the ability to trace the origin of more than 25 products from 5 different suppliers. In this regard, the company has announced that it will soon require all of its vegetable suppliers to adopt this new system to increase operational transparency as well as improve internal accountability. Besides, Karl Bedwell, Senior Director of Walmart Technology, also pointed out:
“Creating a system (traceability) for the entire food supply ecosystem has been a challenge for many years and no one has figured it out. We think blockchain technology is a great fit for this, as it focuses on trust, immutability, and transparency.”
Walmart is exploring the Chinese supply chain market
A few months ago, on June 25, Walmart China – in conjunction with CCFA (China Chain Store & Franchise Association), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin and VeChain limited liability companies – created a traceability platform. root on the VeChainThor blockchain.
In the China Food Safety Traceability System Seminar 2019, The system was also introduced at the time Walmart China announced its first shipment of 23 products. To date, the system has been tested and released.
In the next 5-6 months, the platform is expected to expand to 10 more product categories, including fresh meat products, rice, mushrooms and cooking oils. Researchers at Walmart believe their new food traceability system will show users the source of 50% of all fresh meat and 40% of the vegetables on sale.
From a purely technical point of view, VeChain’s blockchain technology will allow Walmart to implement a seamless traceability strategy and use this decentralized technology at scale. By simply scanning a product, customers get a series of data related to the items they are interested in, including the source of production (i.e. original geographical location), logistics, reporting product testing as well as other features of interest.
Walmart seeks to set new industry standards
Around the summer of 2018, Walmart along with 9 other big name companies teamed up with IBM to create a whole new blockchain ecosystem. The purpose of this ecosystem is to track the corresponding food supply globally through the use of a unified decentralized platform called Blockchain Food Trust.
Some of the prominent companies currently participating in this ecosystem include Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co., Driscoll’s Inc., Golden State Food, Kroger Co. and Unilever NV. The Food Trust’s goal is to strengthen our ability to identify issues related to food recalls (especially during viral outbreaks).
Previously, Frank Yiannas, Walmart’s VP of food safety, mentioned the Food Trust, arguing that the system is the equivalent of FedEx’s tracking system. While many stakeholders see the Food Trust as a competitor, Nestlé’s Chris Tyas believes the companies are working together to strengthen their consumers’ trust. Meanwhile, IBM has shown that Food Trust has the capacity to store data related to more than 1 million items – including everyday consumer products like canned pumpkin, chicken thighs, etc.
In 2018, when a batch of lettuce contaminated with E.coli was on the shelves of many grocery stores located in 5 different states in the US, nearly 200 people were infected with the virus.
In the opinion of many experts, such an incident could have been completely avoided if a tracking system was in place to identify the source of infected green vegetables within hours of an outbreak. Yiannas pointed out that it has taken years for the global food market to integrate blockchain technology solutions into their existing frameworks, and that the adoption of such platforms could stem the outbreak. of disease problems.
Drug distribution: A few months ago, IBM and Walmart announced their decision to partner with KPMG and Merck to pilot a drug delivery blockchain. In it, KPMG will be assigned the role of handling all regulatory compliance issues, while Merck and Walmart will handle all drug distribution related issues.
With this new system, each drug package can be tracked (using a unique identifier key) throughout the supply chain. Not only that, the drugs will also have separate records of each transaction involving the different shipments distributed in the supply chain – allowing employees to report income tax, and process audits. will also become easier.
Blockchain-based drone communication system: In August 2018, Walmart filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office (US Patent and Trademark Office), which relates to a drone-based system. new, encrypted and stored operating parameters of each airborne device. This information can be passed to another drone – which can decode, read and configure itself based on newly sent parameters. Simply put, this patent design will lay the groundwork for a communication system between complex vehicles such as drones.
Finally, in 2017, the retailer giant filed a patent application related to the creation of a blockchain that allows delivery on a drone system in the US.
Walmart is not a pioneer
In the last few years, a number of high-profile companies – such as Anheuser Busch InBev and Alibaba – have begun to incorporate blockchain-based systems into their businesses.
For example, Budweiser’s parent company AB InBev recently partnered with BanQu, an American fintech (financial technology) start-up to help African farmers accurately track agricultural product sales. their by blockchain technology. The new system lets farmers know how AB InBev works, so they can get a more holistic view of barley, sorghum and cassava sales, and receive payments using a mobile app simple.
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