The romaine lettuce contamination crisis earlier this year motivates Walmart to launch a blockchain database of its lettuce and spinach products. On September 24, the New York Times reveals that Walmart plans on tracking the supply chain of vegetables right from farms to its shelves.
Apparently, Walmart partners with IBM 2 years back to develop a blockchain platform helping it to track products. In addition, a report reveals that over 100 farms that supply Walmart vegetables will likely join a network by the third quarter of 2019. These farmers have to submit comprehensive and in-depth information about their farm produce into the blockchain.
The Vice President of IBM Blockchain, Brigid McDermott claims that apart from payment and transaction applications, this is the first time blockchain on a large scale usage.
Apart from the aforementioned contamination crisis, Walmart reveals that its existing traditional database has not been 100% efficient. Last year, Walmart carried out an experiment to see how fast it could track the sources of fresh food. It tasked its employees to track the source of sliced mangos. However, it took them 7 days to pinpoint the location of the farm that grew the mangos.
Walmart believes that a blockchain database will achieve this in seconds. Further, Walmart’s Vice President for food safety states that the food supply chain is a complex system. In addition, Walmart says that it is already tracking yogurt and poultry on IBM’s Food Trust.
IBM is working on becoming an authoritative figure in blockchain technology. Recently, a report says that IBM partners with Plastic Bank creating a blockchain platform to help recycle waste.
However, IBM’s execution of Walmart’s veggie tracker has been faulted by blockchain experts. One such expert is the co-founder of 11: FS, Simon Taylor, who believes that IBM’s approach is flawed. Simon stated that IBM took a decentralized technology and implemented it on a centralized system.
Simon’s sentiment stems from the fact that the ledger from Walmart’s blockchain is stored on a centralized IBM’s cloud storage system. However, McDermott reveals that the records will do encryption, therefore, IBM will not be able to access or manipulate them.
You can also refer to these articles:
- Alibaba and IBM Tops Global Rank for Number of Blockchain Patent Filed
- Blockchain Technology Helps Us Track the Food Origin! How?
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Image Courtesy- IBM, Allied Market Research