Walmart collaborates with blockchain consortium MediLedger

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Walmart has joined forces with blockchain consortium MediLedger, which tracks the provenance of pharmaceuticals, representing a deepening of the retail giant’s involvement with blockchain technology.

Walmart has insisted that its leafy greens supplier should integrate with IBM’s blockchain, and should bring similar supply-chain clout to MediLedger, whose members already include pharmaceuticals manufacturers such as Pfizer and the three pharmaceutical wholesalers, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health.

MediLedger uses an enterprise version of the Ethereum blockchain, built with a modified version of the Parity client and a consensus mechanism called proof of authority. The consortium is led by San Francisco-based blockchain firm Chronicled, which closed a £12.5 million round earlier in 2019.

Walmart joins MediLedger as it gets ready to kick off a pilot project with the US Food and Drug Administration in early June, and is testing several approaches to create an interoperable, digitized system for tracking and verifying prescription drugs, something Congress has mandated it to deliver by 2023.

Legislation to help prevent fraudulent products being resold comes into effect in November 2019.

As this publication reported earlier this week, Carrefour has implemented blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farms to stores and reported an increase in its sales. The French retailer has introduced blockchain information for 20 products, and is planning to add 100 more in 2019. It has worked together with IBM and is partnering with various retailers, logistics companies and growers on systems to track and secure their global supply chains. 

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