Vermont Exploring Blockchain Technology

It appears as though the state of Vermont is seriously exploring the potential of blockchain technology. The state is the second-smallest by population in the United States, and the announcement was made by Vermont attorney general T.J. Donovan.

In a statement, Donovan said: “In an era of persistent data hacks, security breaches, and online activity, exploring new and innovative ways to protect our data is essential. And, we must strive to balance economic opportunity with consumer protection.”

Vermont has apparently established a working group of state agencies to explore the potential of blockchain. The agencies include the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Secretary of State, the Department of Financial Regulation, and the Office of the Attorney General. The working group will not be working without any feedback, as input will be provided from stakeholders, blockchain associations, and industry experts.

Agricultural Application

The group will explore challenges and concerns with distributed ledger technology in hopes of finding out whether blockchain-specific legislation should be deemed a priority or not. The state has a vibrant agricultural economy, and Donovan views blockchain as applying to that particular sector.

He stated during an interview: “I think food is a big one – tracking where food is coming from, all the way from farm to table. Whether or not we’re looking at a potential marijuana industry in this state, to make sure that it’s safe, that it’s not gonna impact public health or the public. So, it really gives you, I think, security, in tracking back where things went.”

Record-Keeping Potential

This is not the first time that the state has addressed blockchain technology. In fact, the governor of the state, Phil Scott, signed a bill in August that would review exactly how blockchain could apply to record-keeping.

He said: “This new legislation holds the promise of making government more efficient, cost effective, and ultimately saving Vermonters money.”

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Walmart to Ensure Traceability of Leafy Greens using Blockchain technology

Walmart and its division Sam’s Club have asked their suppliers of leafy greens to join a blockchain-based supply chain tracking system. Producers will be required to adopt this new platform by the end of January 2020.

E.coli bacteria outbreak in romaine lettuce

This development comes as several produce companies located in Yuma, Arizona and Salinas Valley have been affected by the nationwide scare over E.coli and Salmonella affected romaine lettuce. The 36-state outbreak of E.coli bacteria left five people dead and nearly two-hundred sick since it began in the month of April. The situation became so drastic that an unusual national advisory was issued to the consumers to avoid lettuce grown in the Yuma region. Officials acknowledged that most of the consumers were baffled and unable to ascertain that where their lettuce was grown. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also consulted with the retail-giant Walmart to enhance the traceability of their items so that the public officials are better able to trace the origins of food-borne disease outbreaks.

Blockchain can greatly enhance product traceability

“It is highly difficult for an average consumer to exactly know the origin of their lettuce as none of the salad bags had ‘Yuma, Arizona’ on them,” explained Frank Yiannas, VP of Food Safety at Walmart. “We are ensuring that our suppliers of fresh leafy greens have the full ability to trace back their products to the source farms and that too in seconds instead of days or week. This technology will enable our customers to know the origin of their salads just by scanning its packaging bag,” Frank Yiannas elaborated.

Blockchain technology, based on an encrypted system of distributed information management, can enable Walmart and its suppliers to curtail the high number of product recalls involving Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. For the last few years, Walmart has been experimenting with blockchain technology in various sectors and this adoption should not come as a surprise.

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