Five retailers/brands that are all about the blockchain right now

Including Circle K, Walmart and Lazada

These retailers and brands are leading the way in the blockchain space.

1. Circle K

US-based crypto venture DigitalMint has teamed with convenience store chain, Circle K, installing 20 Bitcoin ATMs across Arizona and Nevada as part of a pilot programme.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with a respected organisation like Circle K,” says Marc Grens, President and Co-Founder, DigitalMint. “This opens the door for massive expansion of Bitcoin access to new markets around the globe.”

Customers can buy up to $20,000 in Bitcoin per day. DigitalMint charges 12% of a transaction, although rate reductions are available. The Arizona ATMs are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, Surprise, Maricopa and Nevada ATMs in Las Vegas. DigitalMint says that the partnership makes it the largest Bitcoin ATM and PoS operator in the US. It currently has over 250 locations in 25 states.

Joel Konicke, Category Manager, Circle K Stores, comments: “Partnering with DigitalMint allows us to provide our customers with seamless access to Bitcoin, at a very reasonable price.”

2. Alyx

Alyx – the fashion brand founded by Lady Gaga creative director and Kanye West collaborator Matthew Williams  – has launched a blockchain-powered supply chain transparency pilot programme in partnership with Iota, Avery Dennison and Evrythng.

Vogue Business reports that some Alyx product hang tags will feature a scannable QR code that showcases the entire supply chain history of the piece it’s attached to. Alyx’s suppliers enter the information, and Evrythng stores and uploads the data to the ledger while Avery Dennison makes tags with digital IDs for each garment. Nine Alyx pieces are included in the pilot, but Williams would ultimately like to include all his products.

The barrier to entry was relatively low for Alyx, which is only four years old and produces 80% of its products in Italy with suppliers who take transparency seriously. The next step, meanwhile, might be automating the process so it can be scaled.

“The key is identifying the right nodes of the supply chain from where to pull data and then determining how to most efficiently extract that data,” says Michael Colarossi, Avery Dennison’s Vice President of Apparel Innovation, Product Line Management and Sustainability, adding that future integration could mean extracting data directly from manufacturing systems.

3. Walmart China

Walmart China is tracking food through its supply chain with VeChain’s Thor blockchain.

The Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform is a joint venture between Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co. and VeChain. The first batch of 23 product lines have been tested and launched on the platform and another 100 are set to follow by the end of the year, covering more than 10 categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms and cooking oil.

The aim is for traceable fresh meat to account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables to account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, and traceable seafood for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020.

“We have always worked to provide reliable products of quality and convenient services to customers, which is our core value proposition,” says Shi Jiaqi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Walmart China.

“With this target in mind, Walmart has continuously invested in the whole supply chain, from source procurement and commodity strategy, supply chain construction, to store and e-commerce platform operation management. We use digital methods to improve efficiency and transparency, providing products and services of quality to customers and making life better for busy families in China.”

4. Nestlé

Nestlé has announced plans to track its products along the supply chain with blockchain technology.

It is working on this with OpenSC, a blockchain platform founded by WWF-Australia and The Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. A pilot will trace milk from farms and producers in New Zealand to Nestlé factories and warehouses in the Middle East. The technology will later be tested with palm oil sourced in the Americas.

Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations, Nestlé, says: “We want our consumers to make an informed decision on their choice of products – to choose products produced responsibly. Open blockchain technology might allow us to share reliable information with consumers in an accessible way.”

The company has been testing out blockchain technology since 2017, most notably with IBM Food Trust. In April, it gave consumers access to blockchain data for the first time, through Mousline purée in France.

5. Lazada

Thailand-based retail marketing platform HotNow has announced the soft launch of Evergleam Hill, the flagship game for its proprietary in-game advertising solution, HotPlay, that leverages a native cryptocurrency (the HOT token) to provide players with discounts, vouchers and giveaways.

The company says that Evergleam Hill has seen over 3,000 downloads across the US and Thailand Android Google Play and Apple App Stores without marketing efforts. The game has also just onboarded Southeast Asian e-commerce giant Lazada and Thai coffee chain D’Oro Coffee. They line up alongside such existing merchant partners as Baskin-Robbins and Mister Donut.

Nithinan Boonyawattanapisut, CEO and Co-Founder, HotNow, says: “Following a rigourous testing phase with the help of a dedicated gamer community, we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone in the development of Evergleam Hill as we welcome new merchant partners onboard. By successfully bridging the worlds of gaming, retail and virtual currencies, we’ve been able to leverage the existing synergies within these industries to the benefit of our merchant partners and users alike.”

Along with food and beverage discounts, Evergleam Hill now features discount coupons from Lazada.

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