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Blockchain is Much Closer Than We Imagined

Walmart is mandating that their produce suppliers adopt blockchain technologies by January 31, 2019

Welcome to the Think Tank with Frank Kenney

With decades of analyst and integration industry experience, Frank Kenney is a fountain of knowledge on all things tech. Now, he aims to share that awareness with you. Come back every other Thursday for your biweekly dose of thought leadership in this blog from one of technology’s most insightful thinkers and gain perspective on a variety of topics ranging from what’s happening in integration today to what’s on the horizon, poised to disrupt the integration space going forward.

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“You who travel with the wind, what weather vane shall direct your course?”
― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

Last week, I wrote about the role of blockchain technologies within B2B processes and ecosystems, and the response was terrific. Old friends — with new and innovative ideas — reached out to both validate my position, and take it a step further, suggesting that blockchain as a replacement to EDI may be closer than any of us imagined.

One thing for sure is, now that blockchain is better understood and more widely available, industries across the board will start to adopt it to suit a variety of needs.

For evidence of this presumed uptick, look no further than Walmart ― a weather vane with the market reach and supplier influence to change which way the technological wind blows. As in many cases that impact B2B integration methods, Walmart has fired the opening salvos into its extensive retail supply chain regarding the use of blockchain technologies, specifically, in how blockchain will be required as an enabler for tracking and tracing produce as early as January of next year. And much like the company did with the AS2 mandate back in the early 2000s, Walmart is mandating that their produce suppliers adopt blockchain technologies by January 31, 2019.

As I suggested in my earlier column, blockchain can provide ecosystems a common ledger for maintaining visibility, transparency, and other aspects of governance within ecosystem interactions. From non-repudiation to track and trace, Walmart seems to feel that blockchain is the best way to make their produce food supply network more visible, more responsive, and ultimately, more responsible.

“No idea’s original, there’s nothin new under the sun
It’s never what you do, but how it’s done”
― Nas, The Lost Tapes

Using the Think Tank forum, I will continue to write about this technology and discuss how blockchain is helping enable the next generation of interconnected business ecosystems.

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