Even big companies are now warming to the idea of integrating blockchain technology, the powerful technology behind Bitcoin.
One such company is America’s retail titan Walmart, which is about to make customers’ data and transactions ultra-secure with the help of blockchain.
Cryptocurrency is a hot topic among investors and economists these days. Investors constantly worry about the unpredictably erratic price fluctuations of these digital assets while economists and bankers worry about the new financial tool’s potential impact on the economy. However, there is one group that is not worried at all; big businesses know the inherent value of the technology behind cryptocurrencies and are now positioning themselves on how to take advantage of the new trend.
Walmart, which is now in a bitter struggle against rival Amazon over the sizable U.S. e-commerce market, knows this better than anyone else. Being a relatively new entrant to the online retail scene, Walmart needs to quickly establish its brand as a name that could be trusted when it comes to online shopping. To do just that, it is eyeing to harness the power of blockchain in order to ensure that its customer data remain secure at all times.
Walmart’s two blockchain patents, which the company filed last year, were already approved on Thursday. The technology is also known as “distributed ledger” where just about anyone can keep track of transactions and since there is no centralized database maintained by a single entity, is also the basis of cryptocurrency’s decentralized nature. In Walmart’s case, however, the chain will harness the technology and apply it in its digital shopping systems as well as in securing its customer data.
The first patent is on a type of vendor payment system which could power the giant’s network in the future. The system will also use encryption to secure each transaction.
“In one aspect, provided is a vendor payment sharing system, [which would] automatically process payment for a total amount due for the products and services related to obtaining and delivering the products; automatically dividing the payment between parties that provided services related to obtaining and delivering the products; and encrypt the payment and the division of the payment with a blockchain,” Walmart explained in its application papers.
Meanwhile, the second patent is focused on securing customer payment information with the use of blockchain and encryption. Customer information security is now becoming increasingly important as breaches of this kind of data will also mean a downgrade of the trustworthiness of a company.
It is not Walmart’s first foray into the world of blockchain. Apparently, the company has already utilized the technology in tracking beef products in China.
However, there is one trend that is worrying watchers of the internet industry. This is the recent repeal of the net neutrality rules by FCC last year which could have far-reaching effects as far as internet freedom is concerned.
There are fears that with no real rules governing ISPs, they would ultimately start to implement paid prioritization. They can speed up bandwidth to certain site willing to shell out extra bucks for the preferential treatment or do the opposite to sites who can’t afford such service. When such thing happens, the internet will no longer remain truly free as the ISP themselves will act as the overlords of traffic, directing it as they see fit.
If you truly value internet freedom, it is high time to start looking for firms that remain net neutral. One such firm is dnet, which is basically a decentralized internet. Dnet promises to continue to treat all types of data, regardless of their origins, equally.