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Walmart Patents Another Blockchain Application

Walmart Patents Another Blockchain Application 101
Source: iStock/YvanDube

American retail giant Walmart has already filed several patents in regards to blockchain application within their business practices. The newest example is a technology that could be used to augment its digital offerings for consumers for retail product resales.

Released last Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the document describes a ledger that would track products that each store sold to a particular customer. The customer would register the item after it has been bought for the first time, and choose a price for a resale, with the system itself acting essentially as a digital marketplace.

According to the application, the ledger would then store, “information regarding whether the enterprise allows particular items to be sold via their sales platform (for example, certain items may be prohibited by law in some relevant manner or the enterprise itself may simply decline to resell certain items), information regarding whether a current or predicted demand exists for particular items in used condition, and estimates regarding wholesale and/or retail remaining value for specific items.”

Aside from this information, the ledger may store information such as whether the customer even bought this item or had previously offered an item for resale via the sales platform.

Walmart is already looking into various other blockchain application within their business. For example, they have submitted a patent called the “smart package” in August 2017, which would include a device that records information on a blockchain regarding the contents of the package, its environmental conditions, its location and more. They have also said that their suppliers would need to use blockchain for tracking food, among similar uses.

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