Walmart Files Patent For Blockchain Based Digital Marketplace
As part of its goal of spreading out its digital services for retail consumers, Walmart has outlined a blockchain based framework. This is according to recently released filing by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The Blockchain Rush
Walmart’s push to embrace digital technologies is documented in the filing which was granted on May 17th, 2018. This will go a long way in enhancing its intellectual property holdings, in addition to strengthening its arsenal which features a number that ranges from parcel-tracking systems to IoT.
According to the document, the proposed system makes it possible for the tracking of retail products brought by a client. This is realized by permitting a client to ‘register’ a product following a purchase. A client can also choose a defined price for resale to individuals while at the same time making use of the company’s framework as a digital marketplace.
A statement in the patent indicates that it is aimed at increasing competition from ‘non-traditional shopping mechanisms’ as an incentive for ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers. This enables the retailers to advance in new technology that are in a position of enhancing experiences of clients even as they shop for products.
The patent also stipulates that the novelty is not necessarily limited to retailers. This is because individual customers usually use a product for a specific period of time, and then desire to it put up for sale later. This however, involves low-awareness on the way to carry out the sale, mainly due to the fact that clients are left to their own devices to organize for consequent resale.
In many ways, the said platform is believed to be in a position of providing additional support to ease as well as facilitate the resale of items. In addition, it takes in a variety of interfaces like mobile platforms, web-browsers or even physical points-of-sale. This proposal describes Walmart’s plan of powering a fleet of delivery vans through the blockchain.
The Blockchain Mechanism
In order to complete a transaction, a seller and courier are required to make available their private keys. The moment both keys are matched, the transaction will instantly broadcast to the network, although it may necessitate verification from the buyer, seller, and courier, before it is added to the blockchain.
Later, the moment the buyer collects the package, the courier is expected to make use of their private keys to confirm the handover. This should immediately update the blockchain within the transaction, thus marking the conclusion of the purchase cycle.