An increasing number of multi-billion dollar companies, banks, financial institutions and organizations have begun to utilize Blockchain technology to authenticate data. By doing so, new and unique implementations of Blockchain technology were introduced, including the Commonwealth Bank’s Blockchain-based shipment of cotton and Walmart’s usage of Blockchain to track the distribution of food.

Walmart and China pork scandal

Retail giants like Walmart conducted trials using Blockchain technology to store shipment data and distribution information into an immutable Blockchain network.

In late October, IBM announced that Walmart and China’s leading technology educational institution Tsinghua University were conducting trials with the IBM enterprise-grade Blockchain technology to track the distribution of foods in China.

The Walmart development and research teams came to a consensus in mid-2016 to engage in the development of the IBM Blockchain-based system after Hong Kong and China was hit by various controversial criticisms, including a major tainted pork scandal.

Both local and international distributors did not comment on the matter, as Hong Kongers were exasperated by the distribution of tainted meat. The contaminated shipments of meat, which could have led to severe health consequences when consumed, passed the extensive verification processes by government and authorities to reach the consumer market.

South China Morning Post confirmed that 319 pigs contaminated by prohibited drugs, including salbutamol and clenbuterol, were discovered in southeast China in August.

SCMP reported:

“At least 40 pigs were found to have been sold to 27 retailers across the city when the problem came to light the next morning, but the public is still in the dark on the reasons behind the slip-up.” 

Ko Wing-man, Hong Kong’s respected health official, admitted that the government made mistakes in the authentication process.

To avoid these scandals resulting from misled data authentication and information manipulation, Walmart is testing its technology with the Tsinghua University to facilitate the distribution of pork.

First Blockchain-based real shipment

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia and US bank Wells Fargo have also entered into a strategic partnership to utilize Blockchain technology in facilitating a cotton shipment traveling from Texas to Qingdao, China.

On Oct. 24, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced in a statement that it settled the world’s first interbank open account transaction, facilitating the shipment of Brighann Cotton’s product from Texas to Qingdao.

The Commonwealth Bank, Wells Fargo and Brighann used the Skuchain Brackets technology, a Blockchain system developed specifically for collaborative commerce and enterprise-grade operations.

Skuchain states that its Blockchain provides real-time and a reliable view of transactions and transfer of assets, appealing to companies like Brighann that are looking to track the international distribution of their products

The Skuchain team says:

“It provides a real-time, reliable view of transaction state bringing significant transparency for all participants and helps them build a more trustworthy and stable supply chain ecosystem.” 

As organizations like Walmart and Commonwealth bank continue to use Blockchain technology for operations and settlement outside the realm of finance, the potential of Blockchain technology will be discovered and acknowledged by a wider range of industries.