This week Wal-Mart announced that it will ask its produce suppliers to implement blockchain-based, real time, tracking by September 2019. This is part of an ongoing effort to enhance their tracking capabilities of contaminated produce during a break out. The announcement comes a few days after Grid+, a renewable electricity supplier, also announced the real world implementation of their service. These are small steps towards validation of technology and mainstream adaptation of Bitcoin and crypto currencies in general.
One of the principal obstacles to the implementation of Bitcoin technology is the lack of adoption. Without a real life use for a blockchain or cryptocurrencies, the crypto movement will be a non-starter. Despite the many promising projects and future technologies, very little has been delivered. But this is slowly changing with the maturity of scaling technologies and growing corporate interest.
Wal-Mart’s imitative mirrors a similar project called OwlChain launched in May 2017 in Taiwan. OwlChain is an initiative to connect farmers to retailers using a blockchain-based supply chain. OwlChain was developed by Taiwanese Fintech start-up called OwlTing and blockchain developer AMIS. Like Wal-Mart, OwlTing aims to revolutionise the way businesses manage logistics and security in a large scale environment.
IBM Blockchain Platform
Wal-Mart’s blockchain supply efforts started in August 2017 when it joined nine other top food industry companies in the development of the IBM Blockchain Platform. A project that encompasses the first enterprise-grade production blockchain; a comprehensive project that incorporates consulting, training, business networks, and security. The project culminated into the development of the Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer. The IBM hyperledger accelerated the path towards adoption with over 450 clients presently partnered with the network.
On Sept 21, 2017, Grid+, A blockchain start-up and offspring of ConsenSys, the world’s largest blockchain software started operations, supplying electricity to clients in the US. This marks the first live case adoption of blockchain in everyday life, validating the technology and one of many of its potential use.
In the case of Grid+, the blockchain facilitates payments in real time by scaling their blockchain via the Raiden Network. The success of the pilot program to integrate blockchain technology on this industry will create inroads into the electricity regulated market, increase market access, and lower prices.
These small applications are only the start of a revolution in finances, medical, shipping and the manufacturing industries. They mark the beginning of implementation by the larger private sectors which are thirsty for results. Private, permissioned blockchains are changing the way the world views the potential of Bitcoin beyond being used for illicit purposes. Instead, it puts it in a new light; once that shows the way forward in a way that provides real capabilities to improve business and life in general.