A new Walmart patent describes a P2P marketplace blending Craigslist, Ebay, Rent-A-Center, and Facebook and Amazon Marketplace with their empire of marketing and more items than people will ever need. It proposes a blockchain ledger and cryptographic keys for simple resale distribution.
If a purchaser wanted to resell an item at any time, they could do so through the proposed resale platform. This would hold the data of when the item was purchases and maintain any marketing, reviews or promotional content for the item.
The architecture in the patent describes “additional support to greatly ease and facilitate their later reselling of items.” The interface could be point-of-sale, browser-based, or a mobile device among other options.
But the concept does run deeper, to change retailers and developing new ways to reach customers. Walmart’s patent also mentions the increasing competition from “non-traditional shopping mechanisms” as an incentive for ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers to stay ahead of new technologies that could improve customer experience.
An online store could make purchases from Walmart without possessing the item and list it on their own website, but sell it through Walmart’s Ebay – basically using Walmart as the payment processor.
To facilitate these transactions, the blockchain technology would be useful for making sure the items stay in the correct hands. Private keys would be implemented to match up with the sellers, couriers and buys. The seller and courier must provide their private keys. Once matched, the transaction would be broadcast to the network
Further verification could be added from the buyer, seller, and courier, prior to being added to the blockchain. When the buyer collects the package, the courier would scan or input the private key for confirming the handover, which immediately updates the blockchain with the transaction, and marks the end of the purchase cycle. Essentially a live feed of supply chain.