Walmart has joined MediLedger, a pharmaceutical consortium running on the Blockchain network. According to the reports made by CoinDesk on the 3rd of June, this move will see the global retail giant expand its Blockchain expertise.
Walmart Follows Four Other Major US Firms In Joining MediLedger
According to the report, Walmart will be launching a pilot program through a partnership with the Food and Drugs Administration of the United States this month. This project will enable the tracking of pharmaceutical products using the MediLedger technology. This technology utilizes a model of the Ethereum Blockchain which has been developed with an altered version of the Parity Client. It also uses a consensus mechanism known as the proof of authority.
Walmart is the fifth major American firm to join the working group of the MediLedger Project Contracting and Chargebacks as a collaborator in the adoption and development of Blockchain technology in the health and pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer Inc., McKesson Corporation, Premier Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corporation also joined the working group early last month. Initially, the project was centered on the verification of returned drugs which were to be resold.
Although a niche, this market is reportedly worth more than $6 billion. Legislation to curb the reselling of fraudulent products is expected to come into effect by the end of the year. With the recent inclusion of Walmart, the working group will be tracking a broader range of pharmaceutical products which includes serialization of packaging as well as interoperable data.
Walmart Venturing Deeper Into Blockchain Technology
The MediLedger project was spearheaded by Chronicled, a Blockchain technology company based in San Francisco. The main aim of the project was to create a system that would facilitate a safe and secure way of sharing data within the supply chains of pharmaceutical products. It is claimed that the Blockchain based project will be automating processes like contract reconciliation and in this way removing any associated costs of such processes.
The retail giant valued at $220 billion is among the industry’s early adopters of the technology. The company is a part of IBM’s Food Trust, a system launched in 2016 used to track produce along the supply chain eliminating recalled foods. This project has been developed on the Hyperledger Fabric.
The United States based company has since taken part in various initiatives relating to Blockchain technology, among them being the patenting of Blockchain technology. Walmart made an application to the office of Patent and Trademark in the United States to be given a patent for a product delivery system powered by the Blockchain network. The patent applied for last year described the system as using autonomous electronic devices such as autonomous robots and drones.
Pfizer Senior Executive Addresses Low Adoption Of Blockchain Technology Within The Industry
Recently, the senior director of business technology at Pfizer, Ken Nessel, said that the main hindrance to wide scale adoption of the Blockchain technology is not technical issues such as scalability. He argued that the main problem is caused by business competitors having to come to terms with sharing governance and infrastructure.