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Blockchain technology is spreading rapidly throughout the retail sector

The blockchain in the retail market value will be 29 times higher in 2023 compared to 2018, going from $ 80 million to over $ 2.3 billion, according to the analysis of the entrepreneur, speaker and author of FinTech, Monica Eaton-Cardone, based on a MarketsandMarkets report.

"Bitcoin has suffered from high-profile hacks and prices that have been wildly fluctuating in recent years, so the caution of cryptocurrency has led some to be wary of blockchain by association, but technology is starting to spread throughout the retail industry now that early adopters are demonstrating its real potential, "says Eaton-Cardone, who serves as the CIO of Global Risk Technologies and COO of Chargebacks911.

Report five key areas:

1. Supply Chain Management – Walmart and IBM have collaborated on a blockchain-based food tracking initiative that identifies the origin of products almost instantaneously; instead of taking almost a week, data can be recovered in just 2.2 seconds. This is essential in case of food-borne outbreaks and safety calls. It also allows retailers to demonstrate compliance with regulations aimed at eliminating slavery and trafficking in human beings from supply chains and allows traders to unequivocally assure customers that the products are ethically and / or sustainable.

2. Inventory management: Blockchain simplifies the monitoring of merchandise position of merchants, from manufacturer to warehouse, from backroom to check-out, and replenishes inventory in good time to avoid backorder scenarios and out-of-stock, which reportedly dealers worldwide nearly $ 1 trillion each year.

3. Verification of authenticity – Counterfeiting and theft are ongoing problems for manufacturers and retailers, whether they are high-end goods such as bags, perfumes and watches or criminals who try to sell stolen art or cars to authorized dealers. Blockchain paths can help manufacturers detect product diversion and trademark infringement and also allow retailers to verify ownership.

4. Automatic renewal and subscription services – In the case of goods and services sold through subscription / recurring billing, blockchain can help protect both sellers and consumers. Sellers can use it to demonstrate that they have obtained the customer's consent to charge their card / account on a recurring basis and demonstrate compliance with the relevant laws, while consumers can prove when they requested cancellation.

5. Customer data and loyalty programs – Blockchain allows resellers to save and use customer data for future orders and product recommendations without storing such data on their servers, where they may be subject to violations or hacks. It can also be used to assign loyalty and reward programs, which helps to attract customers by making it easier for them to track, redeem and / or exchange points.

There are still areas that need to be addressed before the technology is fully implemented on a global, industry-wide basis, from the privacy of data stored on peer-to-peer networks to the need for a common platform for emerging legal and regulatory developments. However, it is encouraging to see big names like Walmart, Carrefour, De Beers, Amazon and American Express at the head.

"Today's retail applications are proving that blockchain is definitely at the height of its hype," says Eaton-Cardone. "Distributed ledger technology has shifted from theoretical possibilities to practical uses, and the implementations we're seeing now are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the blockchain can do for retailers. the ability to completely remodel the retail landscape within the next five years ".

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