The Company Already Rolled Out Blockchain-Based Supply Tracking For Over 25 Products

Walmart, one of the world’s biggest retailers, entered the blockchain revolution with a global tracking product in cooperation with Hyperledger’s Fabric. Now, Walmart’s Canadian branch is launching the first all-in-one production blockchain solution, with the help of DLT Labs.

Walmart has been looking for ways of utilizing the blockchain technology for years. Thanks to its collaboration with Hyperledger and IBM, the company managed to provide enhanced speed and transparency to its food supply chain. Since implementing the food tracking system, the time to prove the origin of mango fruits dropped from 7 days to just 2.2 seconds.

The Senior Director at Walmart Technology Karl Bedwell, admitted that at first, Walmart VP’s were skeptic about the use of blockchain technology. Still, after conducting two proofs-of-concept (PoC) projects for food traceability, Frank Yiannas gave the team the “green light” to develop such a solution.

Walmart and IBM chose the Hyperledger Fabric because of its modularity and hosting of “chaincode” smart contracts. Тhe PoC projects helped tracing pork in China and mangoes in the US, proving their origin and route. Immediately after the two PoC projects were classified as successful, Walmart expanded its decentralized food tracking system with other food suppliers. The collaboration resulted in the creation of IBM Food Trust, with partners like Nestle and Unilever.

Now, Walmart is diversifying its blockchain solutions apart from food tracking. Walmart’s Canada branch rolled out a new tracking, payments, and transaction verification system, in partnership with DLT Labs. The new system would be integrated into Walmart’s legacy blockchain solution. Walmart Canada’s VP of logistics, John Bayliss, stated that utilizing blockchain made a significant impact on processing vast amounts of inventory data.

“The new system allows faster and more transparent data transfer between Walmart Canada and our carrier partners. The improved efficiency also cuts down expenses and creates a greener supply chain. The lowered ecological footprint proves Walmart’s place in environmental sustainability,” Bayliss added.

While Walmark is taking a proactive stance in adopting blockchain technology into its operations, others claim that blockchain only creates “a false sense of transparency.” Craig Heraghty of PwC stated his skepticism about Walmart’s transparency. He noted that the system might have tamper-proofed data, but the point-of-entry is still simple and easy to use with minimal chance of error occurrence. 

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