Blockchain is tipped to change the way Australians shop

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A employee walks by a meat cooler in the grocery section of a Sam's Club during a media tour in Bentonville, Arkansas June 5, 2014.
An employee walks by a meat cooler in the grocery section of a Sam's Club during a media tour in Bentonville, Arkansas June 5, 2014. Reuters/Rick Wilking

A revolution is coming to grocery and produce sectors and it’s expected to change the way Australians shop. Blockchain is a new digital technology that is designed to alter how consumers purchase products, giving them more power to know what they are exactly getting and where the products are from.

Blockchain is a type of decentralised digital ledger. It is expected to be helpful in several ways, like in recording transactions and information in a chronological manner.

Furthermore, the technology has the ability to underline notorious cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It utilises cryptography, a form of math, so records could not be changed nor counterfeited.

Blockchain for modern shopping

So how does this new technology change the way Australians do grocery shopping? Shoppers get the ability to see the journey that products go through before it gets to the shelf through scanning a particular item with a smartphone. With blockchain, consumers will be able to see how long “fresh fruit” took to get from the farm to the supermarkets and whether it was ever frozen.

Futurist and digital consultant Chris Riddell explains that the new technology can show where, when and how a product was produced and shipped. “And the same goes for fresh fruit and vegetables, we assume that your produce is organic, you assume that it’s free range or you assume it’s Australian, and the reality is we don’t know where this stuff has come from despite what the packaging is saying,” he told news.com.au.

While the country currently has strong regulations around claims companies make about their products, it is still possible for embellished claims to sneak through. Two Australian companies were fined for mislabelling their eggs as free range in 2015 and 2016.

Blockchain for real estate market

Blockchain is expected to benefit the real estate market, too. With the technology, every property market in Australia will be encoded with a unique identifier. The blockchain system is also perceived to eliminate risks of records being accessed by fraudsters. It will ensure that all records will not be deleted or altered because they are permanent and immutable.

Last year, Sweden has become the first Western country to explore the use of blockchain in real state. Smart Company reported blockchain startup ChromaWay assisted Swedish Land Registry in testing how parties can monitor a deal’s progress through a blockchain. A real estate blockchain system in Australia is yet to take place.

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