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Target Tests Blockchain For Supply Chain Tracking

Target

Retailer Target is developing an open source blockchain solution to boost transparency within supply chains, the company revealed.

Reports in Cointelegraph this week pointed to an April blog post by Target VP of Architecture Joel Crabb, who revealed the retailer has already piloted blockchain technology to verify paper documents through its supply chain.

Reports said Target opened up its developed blockchain tool on GitHub, where it was named “ConsenSource,” with evidence of its existence on the platform in April.

The “largest obstacle to implementing a distributed ledger is getting multiple companies to agree on which data are stored in the blockchain and how the system will be operated and governed,” Crabb wrote. “To achieve this close interaction among corporate entities, many companies — including Target — see the most potential for enterprise blockchain initiatives as open source.”

Citing GitHub, reports said the solution was built on the Hyberledger Sawtooth platform. Target will also reportedly support the Hyberledger Grid, which aims to streamline supply chain management in food and retail. One of the largest proponents of that project is Cargill, one of Target’s key food suppliers, which invested in Hyberledger Grid earlier this year.

“Working directly with one of our largest food suppliers will allow Target and all other participants to learn from one another as blockchain technologies continue,” added Crabb. “This also gives us an instant use case in determining which data to share and how to govern a multi-enterprise, blockchain-backed distributed ledger.”

Last month Target posted its second quarter earnings with $795 million in net income, surpassing estimates and its performance during the same quarter a year prior. Online sales jumped 42 percent, driven by the launch of curbside grocery pickup, with online sales continuing to make up a larger portion of its overall sales.

“We continue to see a healthy economic backdrop for our business,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement at the time.

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