A good summary by Alexis Bateman and Chris Cottrill of MIT comparing Walmart’s intro of blockchain for leafy greens to their introduction of RFID. As before, they are compelling suppliers to participate. That gets it done, but does not ensure that there will be a fair division of the benefit. And of course, it is not clear that there will be benefit. The technology is still too new.
I’m troubled by the fact that a permanent log of readings from handheld devices may not allow device errors to be corrected. Some suppliers may be unfairly implicated if reading errors occur. However, if the application only tracks possession and not the presence of disease bacteria, that may not be much of a problem. I suspect that mixing lots from several farmers in a single bag may be a bigger and more contentious legal dilemma.
And it’s not a solution for the little guys. Only a behemoth like Walmart could impose such a requirement. About as far from the original blockchain concept of decentralization as one can get.
Nonetheless, I’m sure we will learn a lot from the experiment.