Walmart Seeks Blockchain Technology for Retail Product Resales
The document published last Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outlines a blockchain ledger which would track the items that stores sell a specific consumer. It’s the latest case of an intellectual property play by Walmart, which has documented many related application and has also piloted the tech for tracking food products.
As per the Application, the proposed system would enable a customer to register the item after it’s bought for the first time. The client would then be able to choose a price for a resale, with the system itself acting primarily as a digital marketplace.
Maybe just as notable is the fact that the application seems to work in details from another use case distributed delivery tracking that was described in a past patent filing.
Walmart’s newest Application describes how a “distributed delivery record blockchain” would be updated as products move from the seller to the courier to the purchaser, with new transaction signifying each step.
The Company states:
“By one way, the transfer from the seller to the courier may need signatures from both the sender and the courier using their respective private keys. The new transaction may be broadcasted and checked by the sender, the courier, the purchaser, and/or other nodes on the system before being added to the distributed delivery record blockchain. When the package is transferred from the courier to the purchaser, the courier may use the courier’s private key to validate the transfer of the digital asset representing the physical asset from the courier to the buyer and update the delivery record with the new transaction.”
The purpose of Walmart actually pursuing such a use case isn’t that far-fetched last September, the retailer detailed how it was testing automated delivery solutions with a limited group of clients in California.