What happened: Walmart China partnered with China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain to launch the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform to address customer food safety concerns. Shoppers can scan product barcodes to learn about origin, travel route, and inspection history. The platform is built on the VeChainThor blockchain and already lists 23 product lines. Walmart China expects to eventually start synchronizing data from both local government traceability and supplier platforms with its new blockchain.
Why it’s important: This isn’t Walmart’s first experiment with blockchain technology: as a founding member of Food Trust along with IBM, the company is requiring its leafy green suppliers to begin using its Hyperledger Fabric-based platform by September 2019. Few retailers as massive as Walmart have implemented such robust blockchain solutions, so this could prove a great opportunity to explore how such a young technology performs in real-world scenarios. And despite the China’s strong regulatory stance on crypto, this type of blockchain innovation seems to be largely acceptable.