The number of use cases for blockchain technology continues to increase. Walmart sees a lot of merit in this particular concept. Unlike what most people may expect, the company wants to use a distributed ledger to store payment data. With Walmart filing a patent for such a service, the future looks pretty bright for blockchain.
It is not the first time Walmart shows an interest in blockchain. Up until now, the company seemingly never pursued any developments in this regard. Two recently published patent filings by the retail giant tell a different story. Both of these filings revolve around using a blockchain-based infrastructure to secure payment data. Given the growing number of data breaches, decentralized solutions are more than warranted at this stage.
Genuine Blockchain Interest by Walmart
With a blockchain, Walmart aims to keep private information completely private. This seems to indicate a private and permissioned ledger will be used. Relying on a public blockchain would not necessarily be in the best interest of the company at this stage. Customers will be able to see their payment histories, which hints at some degree of transparency. However, third parties will be given limited to no access to that kind of information.
One of the patent applications mentions the following:
“In one aspect, provided is a vendor payment sharing system, [which would] automatically process payment for a total amount due for the products and services related to obtaining and delivering the products; automatically dividing the payment between parties that provided services related to obtaining and delivering the products; and encrypt the payment and the division of the payment with a blockchain.”
It is evident Walmart wants to forge ahead with their blockchain research. These two systems are a great addition to their ongoing “smart package’ research. Said project will encode information on a blockchain, although the patent has not been granted yet. There are a lot of options to explore for retailers when it comes to blockchain. Whether or not other giants will file additional patents in this regard, remains to be seen.
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