US retail giant Wal-Mart has started using blockchain technology to initially track two products – pork in China as well as a packaged produce item in the US.
While the trial is of two items only, it involves thousands of packages shipped to multiple stores, reports Bloomberg.
Blockchain technology’s strength lies in its trustworthiness as it is difficult to reverse or change recorded data. Blockchain databases can also hold more data, providing retailers with tools for more detailed analysis.
Wal-Mart is hoping the technology will enable it to deliver food to stores faster, reducing spoilage and waste. Its blockchain technology has been co-developed by IBM.
Also in collaboration with IBM and Tsinghua University, blockchain technology is being used at the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center, opened in Beijing last month, to improve how food is tracked, transported and sold to Chinese consumers.
If Wal-Mart adopts blockchain to track food worldwide, it could become of the largest deployments of the technology to date.