American retail giant Walmart plans to use blockchain technology to perfect an intelligent package delivery and tracking system. It’s not the group’s first patent that targets Blockchain technology.

The market of online supermarkets is still booming. Ordering food from the sofa and having it delivered to your apartment door simply meets the zeitgeist of our digital society. However, this service also presents challenges that providers have to face. Food is perishable, so the supply chain needs to be closely monitored.

Fresh food thanks to blockchain technology

In the summer of last year, Walmart announced that it also wanted to launch an online delivery service. First, employees of the group should deliver orders on their way home. Now Walmart wants to tackle it more professionally. Yesterday, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a patent application from Walmart. The global retailer describes it as a “smart package” that aims to include a device that records data such as content, location and environmental conditions of the package via a blockchain. It is encrypted within the device and hashed consecutively with key addresses along the supply chain, including hashs of the seller’s, courier and buyer’s private keys. The patent was filed as early as August 2017. In it, the company points to the difficulties involved in the delivery of food:

“These online customers often try to buy items that require a controlled environment and continue to strive for greater security in the shipping box in which the items are delivered.”

These challenges should be overcome by the Smart Package. This is to be able to be used together with other intelligent technologies, z. B. with “autonomous vehicles” such as drones. Back in May of last year, Walmart had patented a system that could track delivery drones using blockchain, we reported. We will not see these patented Blockchain drones in Germany that fast. The German market was for Walmart a pure loss business, since 2006, all German branches are closed.

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