A new patent application from Walmart shows how the retailer can use blockchain to 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.
“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 is just the latest blockchain-based patent the retailer has filed. Last month, it was revealed that the company had drafted two patent applications that reference a platform powered by blockchain technology for vendor payments and digital shopping.
And in March, it was reported that Walmart plans to launch a blockchain-based shipping solution to enable product tracking, citing a patent filing by the company for a “smart package.”
“Many customers shop online for various reasons, [including] ease of shopping, comfort of shopping, to save time and any number of other reasons that customers have for shopping online,” Walmart said in the filing. “These online customers many times seek to purchase items that may require a controlled environment and further seek to have greater security in the shipping packaging … current shipping packaging does not provide for such desired functionality.”