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This $259 Billion Retail Giant Understands the True Power of Blockchain

The world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer is quietly making a splash in blockchain technology.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) recently filed two applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, and both could be game changer.

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Wal-Mart's patent filings indicate that the firm is serious about protecting private customer information and eliminating access to sensitive data for unauthorized parties.

According to the filings, both applications reference a "blockchain-powered platform" to secure payment data.

The first patent filing outlines a platform for automatically conducting transactions on a customer's behalf.

The patent notes that this network would fulfill orders for same-day delivery.

The second patent application centers on a digital shopping system that would utilize the blockchain to encrypt payments.

This shopping system would coordinate with a CRM module that would process and ship customer orders.

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And there are three reasons why utilizing blockchain technology will help Wal-Mart stay competitive...

Why Wal-Mart Inc. Is Utilizing Blockchain

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First, the company needs to keep up its market share against rivals. The firm is looking to compete against rival Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), which has a significant advantage today in deliveries with its same-day delivery options.

With self-executing contracts, Wal-Mart should be able to ship products faster.

Second, food safety and product tracking remains a critical component of supply chain management.

The firm envisions that blockchain will provide a better method of time-stamping shipments and processing orders.

Finally, the retail giant anticipates that blockchain will help reduce supply chain costs.

A 2017 survey by consulting firm Cognizant Technology Solutions measured expected cost savings fueled by blockchain initiatives.

The survey showed that 36% of respondents foresaw savings of at least 5% in the years ahead.

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