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IBM launches tool to help grocery stores track food on the blockchain

... and it will charge a monthly fee to use it

ibm, cryptocurrency, blockchain

IBM has just rolled out some new blockchain software. The global technology giant launched IBM Food Trust, a new software suite built for tracking food supply routes with distributed ledgers.

IBM Food Trust is its newest contribution to the blockchain ecosystem. It pledges to connect growers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and others to a permissioned, immutable, shared database.

The end result is supposedly an increase in food safety, freshness, sustainability, and a reduction in waste.

For a monthly fee, businesses will be able to map “the provenance, location and [sic] status of food products on the supply chain.”

The fee will depend on the size of the operation. Businesses will fork out anywhere from $110 to $11,000 per month to use IBM Food Trust. IBM claims its new platform can even support companies with over $1 billion in annual revenue.

To this effect, IBM has confirmed major French supermarket Carrefour an active participant, announced towards the end of September.

ZDNet reports that Carrefour is to convert more than 12,000 stores across 33 countries to IBM Food Trust’s distributed ledger ecosystem.

Companies can also pay a one-time fee of $5,500 to receive “expert onboarding” from IBM directly.

IBM has built Food Trust on already existing proprietary software IBM Blockchain Project, which itself is a pre-packaged enterprise version of the Ethereum blockchain.

IBM’s blockchain tech has already been readily adopted by major players in other industries. In particular, the banking sector has experimented with platforms built on its tech to test its suitability for processing international remittances.

It remains to be seen if IBM Food Trust can truly support such large operations. After all, it has the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to compete with – who have all released similar ‘blockchain-as-a-service’ (BaaS) developer templates lately.

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Published October 8, 2018 — 12:52 UTC