Walmart Envisions Blockchain-Based Retail Resale System

walmart blockchain marketplace

Walmart, who has applied for a number of blockchain related patents in recent months, is exploring blockchain as a way to offer a resale marketplace to its customers.

According to a new patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, a blockchain ledger would track items sold to a particular customer by Walmart stores. At the point of sale, the system outlined in the patent would enable a customer to register an item after purchase. The customer could then assign a resale price to the item within Walmart’s system, which would act as a marketplace to resell the item to a different Walmart customer interested in the price previously set by the initial purchaser.

The new patent also touches on blockchain-based shipment tracking that was outlined in a previous patent filing, focusing on the delivery process between the initial buyer turned seller to the new buyer, and how the item is tracked to and from each party by the courier. 

The patent application reads:

"By one approach, the transfer from the seller to the courier may require signatures from both the sender and the courier using their respective private keys. The new transaction may be broadcasted and verified by the sender, the courier, the buyer, and/or other nodes on the system before being added to the distributed delivery record blockchain. When the package is transferred from the courier to the buyer, the courier may use the courier's private key to authorize the transfer of the digital asset representing the physical asset from the courier to the buyer and update the delivery record with the new transaction."

Walmart has also filed patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office for blockchain-based payments systems, temperature-regulated “smart packages,” and many more.

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