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Walmart To Utilize Blockchain For 'Smart Package' Delivery

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US retail giant Walmart is planning to use the blockchain technology to ensure accurate delivery of its "smart packages".

In a patent application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2017, the company says a "smart package" carries a device with a delivery encryption system that consists of a blockchain for package tracking and authentication. The filing was spotted by the blockchain technology news website Coindesk.

The blockchain will be an ongoing chain hashed with key addresses along the chain of custody. The chain will include hashing with a seller private key address, a courier private key address and a buyer private key address.

Further, the company said the blockchain will register a product placed within the inner volume of the smart package, even as it progresses through a supply chain, and authenticate it.

The blockchain associated with a product placed in the smart package will dynamically adjust to account for the cold chain status of the product as the smart package moves through a supply chain.

In the application, Walmart said the smart package relates to shipping goods as the existing solutions sill lack the ability to track packages at all times.

"Online customers many times seek to purchase items that may require a controlled environment and further seek to have greater security in the shipping packaging that the items are shipped in," Walmart said. "Current shipping packaging does not provide for such desired functionality."

The smart package delivery can also be assisted by autonomous vehicle systems such as drones.

This is not the first time Walmart has filed a patent for a blockchain-related technology to be used in delivery management.

In May 2017, Walmart had filed a patent for a delivery management system that improves the delivery process using robotics, sensors and blockchains or distributed ledgers. In the said delivery system, a delivery drone will authenticate itself with a blockchain identifier, which is essentially an enrcypted code, as it reaches a delivery destination.

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