Note from the Publisher: Everyday, there’s a new story with an entirely different twist to report on blockchain, and today is no exception. Yahoo Finance is reporting that Walmart has turned to blockchain for the first time to track pork supplies in China, which is increasingly more focused on food safety. It all started with bitcoin, but the underlying technology of that cryptocurrency continues to have far-ranging applications outside of finance, and all over the world.
“For the first time, Walmart (WMT) is turning to blockchain.
The retail giant, which opened a new “food safety collaboration center” in Beijing today, will partner up with IBM (IBM) and Tsinghua University to track the pork supply chain in China using blockchain, the decentralized, open ledger technology that originated with the digital currency bitcoin. (For more, see the below video explainer.) The technology has since been embraced by consumer tech giants and financial institutions alike, sans digital currency, as a more efficient form of record-keeping.”
A blockchain is “immutable,” says Ramesh Gopinath, IBM’s VP of blockchain solutions. “Transactions are there forever. It makes it impossible for people to deny things that happened in the past. It makes it nearly impossible for businesses to cheat.”
That’s the pitch IBM made to Walmart, which has prioritized food safety in China recently and was open to any idea that might help it track food step by step. “Things came together at the right time” for this partnership, says Walmart VP of food safety Frank Yiannas. “We thought the time to act is now.”