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Walmart to Use Block-chain for Electric Bill System
In an effort that could lead to lower prices and better efficiency, Walmart is planning to use a system that would help households manage their electricity bills through cryptocurrency. Such a structure would through use of a public Block-chain.
As of now, energy providers deliver electricity to locations that inefficiently use the energy, leading to an increase in electricity costs for consumers. The increase in cost results from various devices and appliances that consume more energy than the appliance or device may actually need to function or perform certain tasks.
With the help of this system, a consumer may pay a capped amount of cryptocurrency up front, ahead of the expected electricity demand of certain devices. Since those consumer requirements could be seen on a public ledger, the energy provider would be able to know how much electricity to allocate to each household based on their needs. In addition, expected electricity left over at the end of the cycle could be credited to the next period.
This technology came to light after it was reported that Walmart has drafted two patent applications in reference to a platform powered by blockchain technology for digital shopping and vendor payments. The applications were initially filed in October of 2017, reportedly drafted by the same team at Walmart. Though the retailer wants to give consumers to access to its own payment histories through the applications, it doesn’t want to give the same type of access to third parties.
In one patent application, the Walmart team referred to a vendor payment system that would automatically process payments for the total amount due for products and services relating to obtaining and delivering the products. It would encrypt and divide the payment using blockchain technology. Other than vendor payments, the Walmart team explained a digital shopping system that also uses the blockchain to encrypt payment data.This news came about a month after Amazon revealed a blockchain initiative, which is competing with Walmart on multiple fronts. It is reported that, in March, Walmart plans to launch a blockchain-based shipping solution to enable product tracking — citing a patent filing by the company for a “smart package.”