On November 14, Walmart Canada announced that its blockchain-based freight and payment network will be live in web and mobile versions in February 2020, naming the project “the world's largest full production blockchain solution for any industrial application.”
Developed with DLT Labs, Walmart Canada’s solution uses blockchain technology to “integrate and synchronize all the supply chain” to its 400 retail stores, involving over 500,000 loads of inventory annually.
All the logistics data will be updated in the blockchain system in real time, allowing real-time automatic invoicing and solving other deficiencies of the current system, ultimately reducing operating costs to further reduce prices for end customers, reads the press release.
Direct benefits also include the opportunity to eliminate potential disputes due to blockchain inherent transparency. Among indirect benefits, John Bayliss, the company’s senior vice-president, mentioned the creation of “complete transparency” with all partners and environmental footprint reduction opportunities resulting from improved efficiency.
As a result of the pilot trials, a representative from carrier partner Bison Transport shared that Walmart’s blockchain system is “a mutually beneficial solution” and it offers “a new paradigm” in the industry.
Loudon Owen, CEO of DLT Labs, highlighted that this “world's first and largest blockchain solution for industry” going live is demonstrating the “high value of blockchain,” which is capable of revolutionizing supply chain management and logistics.
Walmart has been actively researching blockchain technology applications for years. The company was involved in testing IBM’s blockchain solution for food supply management in 2018. This summer the company filed a new patent application for a “system and method for digital currency via blockchain,” indicating research into potential applications of Walmart coin.