Five big retail/blockchain innovations in 2019
Depending on whom you listen to, blockchain technology is either revolutionary stuff or overhyped nonsense. RTIH is firmly in the former camp. Here are five reasons for our optimism
1.) Hyperledger showcases Walmart food traceability, safety efforts
Blockchain consortium Hyperledger has published a case study detailing how Walmart is “leading unparalleled transparency in the food supply chain”.
2.) Accenture teams with Amazon, Mastercard on supply chain project
Professional services firm Accenture is working with a number of firms, including Mastercard and Amazon Web Services, to introduce a circular supply chain.
3.) Moon’s Ken Kruger: “The power of crypto is revolutionary. Just give it time”
RTIH recently met Ken Kruger, Founder and CEO of Moon, a Chrome browser extension that offers an alternative payment method when shopping online. Check out our interview here.
4.) Danny Brewster hits the crypto comeback trail
Ex-Neo & Bee MD, Danny Brewster, is back with a new company, Fastbitcoins.com, which allows “everyday punters to buy Bitcoin with ease in physical shops”. “I plan to restore my credibility through providing the best possible service for as many customers as possible across the planet,” he recently told RTIH.
5.) Carrefour brings blockchain tech to Belgium and Italy
Carrefour Belgium is using blockchain to track meat, while Carrefour Italy is extending its usage of the technology to track citrus fruit.
Retailers must stop trying to be tech firms
2019 won’t be the year that blockchain disrupts retail and the customer experience. That was one of Forrester analyst Brendan Witcher’s key takeaways from NRF 2019, which was held in New York earlier this year.
In a LinkedIn post, he says: “In 2019, tech that helps innovate the art and science of learning retail will have better business impact than retail learning the art and science of innovative tech. It’s time for retailers to stop dumping resources and money into trying to be tech firms – buy (don’t build) core technologies, and get back to focusing on customer connections (rather than custom tech connections).”
Beg to differ
This being blockchain we’re talking about, there is always someone on hand to counter a negative opinion. The technology is set for a breakthrough year, according to ConsenSys’ Andrew Keys.
“Blockchain tracking will this year go from nice to have, to need to have. Vigilant shoppers are going to demand transparency in regards to where their food, clothes, and products come from,” he says in a Medium post.
“Today, the supply chain process is opaque and often slow. In 2018, the US Food And Drug Administration recorded dozens of recalls for foods potentially contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, E. Coli and even glass particulates. Retail manufacturers and luxury fashion brands use forced labour to produce the t-shirts and jeans we all buy, and often engage in environmentally damaging practices.”
Blockchain-tracked attestations of a product’s provenance and distribution , like diamond producer DeBeers’ Tracr platform or Lane Crawford’s Luxarity , are going to become industry standard for retail brands, he reckons.
“Platforms like Viant are at the forefront of this technology, and enable consumers to know exactly what they’re buying. Even retail giants like Walmart have taken major strides towards reinforcing supply chains with blockchain-based tracking and tracing.”