Why Everyone’s Buzzing about Blockchain
The same technology that is behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is coming to your pantry very soon, albeit in a more behind-the-scenes way. Blockchain is a shared and tamper-proof digital ledger, which allows retailers, such as Walmart, to show and track their supply chains. In the process, they are hoping to garner consumer trust as well as minimize waste. Mobile apps pick up real-time information through sensors and cameras or allow farm workers across the chain to quickly enter data in one unified place, thus replacing the timelagged system of paperwork, barcodes and computer programs of yore. The goal? To help retailers and growers gain more real-time insights and confidence about every point in the food system.
Testing has shown that blockchain can provide a more complete picture in real time
of food’s journey, which experts hope may help slash food recall and contamination, reduce food waste and fight food fraud. In one recent test case, blockchain allowed Walmart to trace a batch of mangos in a matter of moments (2.2 seconds) back to the exact orchard in Mexico
– versus 63∕4 days from traditionally used methods.