A new patent application from retail giant Walmart shows how blockchain could be used to augment its digital offerings for consumers.
The document, released last Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, outlines a blockchain ledger which would track the items that stores sell to a particular customer. It's the latest example of an intellectual property play by Walmart, which has filed a number of related applications and has also piloted the tech for tracking food products.
The proposed system would allow a customer to register the item after it's bought for the first time. The customer would then be able to choose a price for a resale, with the system itself acting essentially as a digital marketplace, according to the application.
Walmart's latest application explains how a "distributed delivery record blockchain" would be updated as products move from the seller to the courier to the buyer, with new transactions signifying each step.
The company wrote:
The idea of Walmart actually pursuing such a use case isn't that far-fetched – last September, the retailer detailed how it was testing automated delivery solutions with a limited group of customers in California.
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