A Fortune 500 company just announced a tangible and important integration of blockchain into business.
Blockchain’s potential as a tracking mechanism is now becoming real, tracing and authenticating the green produce destined for Walmart’s grocery department.
Responding to Food Safety Scares
Given a rash of food safety scares involving contaminated greens, Walmart’s move makes perfect sense. Blockchain authentication can trace products to their origins and offer easily referenced data on a product’s history, from seed to grocery cart.
Walmart, along with its warehouse store Sam’s Club, will require lettuce suppliers to put their data on the blockchain by the end of September 2019.
Enhancing Consumer Confidence
E. coli in spinach and lettuce and salmonella in items from chicken to eggs to breakfast cereal wreak havoc on customer confidence (and stomachs), and thus sales. But with blockchain as a digital store of data, businesses may soon be equipped to pinpoint the supply chain from affected farms, cut it off, and validate the safety of other, acceptable products.
Suppliers will be able to trace leafy greens to specific growers “in seconds—not days,” according to Walmart.
The IBM Food Trust blockchain has provided the pilot platform for Walmart. The collaboration is shaping tomorrow’s food data standards today.
Booze, Cars and Carbon Credits
Shanghai-based VeChain offers a blockchain-based ledger for multinationals and enterprise-level clients. Liquor companies need a solution to trace products and expose counterfeiting. VeChain’s collaborations are enabling nationwide systems for tracking wines from production to consumer.
And consumers themselves have the complete history of the bottle at their fingertips. This too makes perfect sense. Empowered customers have reasons to be loyal to a brand.
VeChain is also pressing for innovations in car ownership and maintenance records. Transactions and maintenance are still frequently recorded on paper. VeChain can create a digital profile for every car, enabling transactions by way of smart contracts.
The company is even creating ways for companies to receive carbon credits to comply with emissions standards.
The Authentication of Money Itself
Blockchain has been making itself useful to banks for some time. Bankers need to empower their business clients work to with procurement and supply. Before blockchain, commerce had to wait for third-party intermediaries to authenticate the identity of actors, and the presence of funds.
This is changing. In the future, people will settle payments in real time, allowing instant decisions and making large orders available for immediate shipment.
Are There Drawbacks?
Cost is one obvious issue. Big corporations like Walmart and Sam’s Club can afford to embrace technological enhancements, but can farmers and wine growers?
IBM says it’s not an issue. It’s creating a platform for low-cost transition to blockchain. Moreover, farmers with contaminant-free fields have something to gain. They want to stop losing profits to consumer jitters.
Now, fraud and mistakes—which could traditionally void out contracts—will no longer plague their target industries. Counterfeits, misleading advertising, and fake labels? These can all be stopped in their tracks.
So the downsides are few. Clearly, though, authentication needs decentralized solutions ahead.
Anticipate Blockchain Authentication Standards Across Industries
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Blockchain Survey reached hundreds of business heads in 2018. It turns out 84 percent of their companies are actively working with blockchain. What does all of this tell us?
- Commerce and digital information are now meshing.
- State-of-the-art authentication methods will impact industries of every kind.
- Companies must value customers’ trust, embracing the technology to ensure it.
Startups are rising to the occasion, creating solutions for businesses beyond the Fortune 500 circles. Collaborate with Renovatio PR as we work to meet their needs.