Walmart Seeks Blockchain-Based Patent To Help Customers Resell Products
Blockchain technology just got a major boost to becoming commonplace in the U.S.
One of world’s largest retail chains, Walmart has filed a patent for a blockchain-based marketplace for reselling purchased products. The patent was filed May 17 with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“The application describes a service that would record a customer’s purchases in a blockchain ledger, thus allowing the customer to resell the items on a sales platform using the record of purchase,” Coin Telegraph reported.
According to the patent notes, when customers look to get rid of unused or unneeded items, they are often “left to their own devices to arrange for a subsequent resale.”
What Walmart proposes is a system that will offer “additional support to greatly ease and facilitate their later reselling of items.” The interface for this proposed system could be point-of-sale, browser-based, or a mobile device among other options. In short, the blockchain marketplace will help customers resell Walmart products they no longer want.
With this, Walmart will keep track of customer purchases.
“According to CoinDesk, the patent details a blockchain ledger that can track items that stores sell to particular customers. The system would allow a customer to register an item after it’s been purchased and then choose a price for resale, with the system acting like a digital marketplace,” PYMTS.com reported.
“By one approach, the transfer from the seller to the courier may require signatures from both the sender and the courier using their respective private keys,” the company wrote. “The new transaction may be broadcasted and verified by the sender, the courier, the buyer and/or other nodes on the system before being added to the distributed delivery record blockchain. When the package is transferred from the courier to the buyer, the courier may use the courier’s private key to authorize the transfer of the digital asset representing the physical asset from the courier to the buyer and update the delivery record with the new transaction.”
This isn’t the first blockchain patent the company has filed for. “In the beginning of March, a Walmart filed a different patent for a ‘Smart Package’ delivery system that uses a blockchain-based tool for tracking package contents, environmental conditions, and locations,” Coin Telegraph reported. Also, at the end of April, the vice president of Walmart’s Food Safety and Health announced Walmart would be using blockchain tech in its live food business. This he said would improve contamination management and overall transparency.
Walmart is using IBM’s blockchain technology to ensure food safety. Walmart tracks its produce from the farm to the store shelf to confirm items have not been contaminated or are within their sell-by date. Transport company Maersk has established a joint venture with IBM to develop a global trade platform for the blockchain system to help companies reduce costs and eliminate inefficiencies with how items are being shipped, IEEE reported.
As of 2017, Walmart operated about 6,363 international stores.
Walmart trying to stay ahead of the game files Patent for Blockchain-Based Customer Marketplace. This will allow customer “additional support to greatly ease and facilitate their later reselling of items.” https://t.co/zIfCbU9vTs Via @Cointelegraph #ipcommercialization pic.twitter.com/IyqFv8C1jl
— BankOnIP (@bankonip) May 22, 2018