Walmart Patents Another Blockchain Application

  • Retail giant Walmart has filed the latest of several patents pertaining to applying blockchain to its business.
  • This newest technology could be used to augment its existing digital offerings for consumers.

American retail giant Walmart has filed a number of patents revolving around the application of blockchain to its business practices, with its most recent pertaining to product resales technology that could help enhance its digital offerings for consumers.

The latest document, released on Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, includes details of a ledger that would be used to track the products sold by each store to individual customers.

This will give customers the ability to register their items post-purchase, and then later select a price for resale, with the innovative system essentially acting as a fully functional digital marketplace.

The application explains that the ledger would archive:

“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."

Walmart Patent Application

In addition to this data, the ledger would also be able to store information as to whether the customer had actually bought the item, and whether it had previously been offered for resale on their platform.

This is not the first time the commercial behemoth has looked into incorporating blockchain applications into its business. In August 2017, for example, they submitted a patent for a ‘smart package’ – a device that would store information pertaining to the contents of a package, its location, environmental conditions, and more.

 They have also looked into the technology’s application for everything from launching an overseas food safety alliance to reducing food waste across the globe.

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