Layer 2 Solutions: Taking Scalability to New Heights

In this article we will explore the concept behind Layer 2 Solutions and the problems they are solving in blockchain.

Introduction

According to the CAP theorem (also known as Brewer's theorem) first proposed in 1998 by Eric Brewer before Seth Gilbert and Nancy Lynch propounded it in 2002, a distributed system cannot attain consistency, availability, and partition tolerance simultaneously. This same opinion holds sway among blockchain experts for blockchain protocols. The belief often referred to as blockchain trilemma suggests that blockchain cannot achieve three of its core principles: security, scalability, and decentralization simultaneously.

By implication, the blockchain trilemma said, a protocol can achieve decentralization and security while sacrificing scalability and vice versa. The blockchain trilemma provided an answer to why centralized networks can boast thousands of transactions per second and the blockchain networks like bitcoin and Ethereum can only afford a few tens of transactions per second. In that light, the trading system sacrifices decentralization while achieving high throughput, secure and scalable network. To scale up blockchain protocols, developers began looking to salvage the situation.

So far, to solve the trilemma belief, several approaches are taken. The proposed solutions to achieving scalability are Layer 2 and Layer 1 solutions respectively.

Layer-1 and Layer-2 Solutions

Although this article focuses on Layer 2 solutions, it will be necessary to lay a background that includes Layer 1 solutions. It will highlight several Layer 1 and Layer 2 solutions as well as references to top Layer 2 implementations you should know about.

Layer-1 Solutions

Often referred to as on-chain solutions, Layer-1 solutions are the scalability solutions that require redesigning the underlying protocols of the base protocol. Look at the Layer-1 solution as say, redesigning Ethereum or Bitcoin protocols to increase throughput and reduce fees. For instance, Visa, MasterCard, and other payment processors process an average transaction per second of 5000 while Bitcoin and Ethereum process 4 and 15, respectively. Going by the current design of these blockchain networks, as users of the networks grow, the TPS will keep reducing and transactions keep getting unnecessarily slow, hence, the need for a redesign. The Layer-1 solution entails redesigning the underlying protocols of the networks to allow for throughput, energy efficiency, and cheaper transaction fees. 

There are thus several methodologies employed to redesign the base protocols. Although some of them are still at their experimental stage, they include: 

Consensus-Based Protocol Redesign

This consists of redesigning the consensus protocol of the base protocol to scale transactions and efficiency. The leading blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum have leveraged PoW consensus that allows miners to solve cryptographic puzzles to validate and verify blocks thereby making it energy-demanding and tedious. Nonetheless, PoW systems are secured but often characterized by high transaction fees and low throughput when there is network congestion. To mitigate this risk and achieve a scalable network, PoS consensus becomes a good choice. Instead of miners solving cryptographic puzzles using enormous energy, users stake coins on the blockchain.

PoS consensus is set to cut down the high cost of transaction and throughput of the PoW networks. It is yet in its experimental stage, but some protocols are already developing on it. Among the top projects are Solana, Avalanche, and Ethereum. Ethereum termed its proposed PoS version Ethereum 2.0. From a frontier phase, Ethereum will be going full serenity next year by launching a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Unlike the high cost of transaction and low TPS of Ethereum 1.0, Ethereum 2.0 is expected to dramatically and fundamentally increase the capacity of the Ethereum network while increasing decentralization and preserving network security.

Sharding

Also in an experimental stage, sharding is adapted from distributed databases as one of the Layer-1 scaling solutions. Employing a Sharding Layer-1 scaling solution means breaking the state of the base protocol into distinct datasets called "shards". Here, tasks are managed by shards, simultaneously processed in parallel and they collectively maintain the entire network.

Each node in a network represents a shard instead of maintaining a copy of the entire main chain to allow scalability. Each shard across the network provides proofs to the mainchain and interacts with one another to share addresses, balances, and general states using cross-shard communication protocols. Although in an experimental stage, awaiting its launch in 2022, Ethereum 2.0 is exploring the implementations of shards.

Layer-2 Solutions

Instead of implementing the changes of the parent protocols of the blockchain, Layer-2 solutions took scalability to a whole new height. Layer-2 solutions are those scalability solutions that entail adding a layer to the base protocol to increase throughput. They take transactions off the main chain, hence, are called off-chain solutions. 

The off-chain solution doesn't allow base protocol structural changes since the second layer is added as an extra layer. For that reason, Layer-2 scaling solutions have the potential to achieve high throughput without sacrificing network security.

Layer-2 solutions consist of smart contracts built on top of the main blockchain. Those secondary layers are for scaling payments and off-chain computation. Layer-2 solutions can be achieved in various ways. For example;

Rollups

Rollups are one of the Layer-2 scaling solutions built on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike the Layer-1 solutions, they are secondary layers that allow users to perform transactions off the main Ethereum chain (Layer-1). It is designed to post transactional data on Layer-1 thereafter, hence, inheriting the security of the base protocol. Rollups possess the following properties:

  1.  Executes transaction outside Layer-1.
  2. Proofs transactions on Layer-1, thereby improving the security of Layer-2.  
  3. Using the transactional data on Layer-1, rollup smart contract in Layer 2 enforces correct transaction execution on it. 
  4. Operators stake a bond on the Rollups smart contract which they get incentivized to verify and execute transactions correctly. 

Rollups can either be zero-knowledge or optimistic Rollups. They both differ in their security model:

Optimistic Rollups

Optimistic rollups is a Layer 2 solution designed to enable autonomous smart contracts using the Optimistic Virtual Machine. By default it doesn't perform any computation, hence, can offer up to 10-100x improvements in scalability depending on the transaction. It sits parallel to the main Ethereum chain on Layer-2. Transactions on Optimistic rollups are written on the main Ethereum chain in form of call data thereby further reducing the gas cost. 

As stated ab initio, Optimistic rollups do compute transactions outside of the main layer in the form of batches and submit only the root hash of the block to the main chain. Hence, the need for a mechanism (fraud proofs) to ensure transactions are legitimate That way, when someone notices a fraudulent transaction, the rollups initiate fraud proofs before running a transactional computation using available state data. By implication, Optimistic rollups take significantly longer to confirm transactions than zero knowledge rollups. 

There are currently multiple implementations of Optimistic rollups that you can integrate into your dApps. They include; OptimismOff-chain Labs Arbitrum RollupFuel NetworkCartesiOMGX

Zero-Knowledge Rollups

This is a type of rollup on the ethereum blockchain. It bundles hundreds of transactions off-chain and generates a cryptographic proof known as Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (SNARK), often called validity proof.

The ZK-rollup smart contract maintains and updates the state of all transfers on Layer 2 with validity proof. Instead of the entire transactional data, the ZK Rollups needs only the validity proof, which goes on to simplify transactions on the network. Validating a block is quicker and cheaper in ZK Rollups because less data is included.

There are multiple implementations of ZK-rollups that you can integrate into your dApps. They include; LoopringStarkwareMatter Labs zkSynczkTubeAztec 2.0, and so on. 

Channels

A State Channel is a Layer-2 scaling solution that facilitates two-way communication between the participants which will allow them to perform transactions off the main blockchain. Typically, for a recurring payment State Channel does not require a recurring validation by nodes of the Layer-1 network to improve overall transaction capacity and speed. The underlying blockchain is sealed off via a set of smart contracts or multi-signature seals off. Leveraging the smart contract pre-defined by participants, they can directly interact with each other without the need of the miners. Upon the completion of the transaction or batch of transactions on a state channel, the final “state” of the “channel” and all its inherent transitions are recorded to the underlying blockchain. Some projects including Liquid Network, Celer, Bitcoin Lightning, and Ethereum's Raiden Network are currently deploying state channels scaling solutions.

Sidechain

A Sidechain is a secondary blockchain linked to the main blockchain via a two-way peg. Like most layer 2 scaling solutions, it uses an independent consensus and contracts to optimize throughput. On the sidechain, the main chain takes up security roles, confirming batched transaction records and resolving disputes.  

They are somewhat similar to channels, however, it differs in how they process transactions and the security impacts. Transactions are recorded publicly on the ledger, unlike the private records of the channels. Sidechains enable tokens and other digital assets to move back and forth freely from the main chain. When the sidechain completes a transaction, a confirmation is relayed across the chains, followed by a waiting period for added security. Due to their allowance to move assets around freely on the new network, a user who wants to send the coins/assets back to the main chain can do that by simply reversing the process.

Plasma

Plasma is a secondary chain on the Ethereum blockchain, proposed by Joseph Poon and Vitalik Buterin in their paper Plasma: Scalable Autonomous Smart Contracts. It comprises Merkel trees and smart contracts which create unlimited smaller versions of the main chain (Ethereum), called child chains. Integrating these child chains enables fast and cheap transactions off the main Ethereum blockchain into child chains.

Users can deposit and withdraw plasma chain funds, enabled by fraud proofs. For such a transaction to go on, there has to be communication between the child chains and the root chain, secured by the fraud proofs. Users deposit by sending the asset on the smart contract, managed by the plasma chain. Then the plasma chain proceeds to assign a unique ID to the deposited assets while the operator generates a batch of plasma transactions received off-chain at intervals. On the other hand, the contract initiates a challenging period during which anyone can use the Merkle branches to invalidate withdrawals if they can. 

Conclusion

Like the CAP theorem in distributed systems, the blockchain trilemma suggests that blockchain cannot achieve scalability, security, and decentralization simultaneously. However, the Layer-2 scaling solutions have come to challenge the thought system. It allows the mainchain to take care of security while maintaining scalable networks in its additional layers.

Also Read Arbitrum: Scaling without Compromise

Iron Fish: The Private Cryptocurrency

Several blockchains have tried to address several issues that face decentralized transactions but none of them have completely addressed the issue. Only one of these blockchains is close to solving this once and for all. This blockchain is the Iron Fish blockchain.

The Iron Fish blockchain is a layer 1 decentralized blockchain platform that offers top-notch privacy security to users. It helps in overcoming the challenges of creating P2P connections in a node by eliminating any barriers that may be present. Also, it has been able to create connections in any browser and any CLI environment. 

Surprisingly, the Iron Fish project has so many other benefits it offers its users. In this article, we'll be discussing the benefits, networking mechanism as well as unique features of the Iron Fish blockchain. 

What is the Iron Fish Blockchain?

The Iron Fish project is a layer 1 privacy blockchain that offers users strong privacy transactions and wide expansion to the use of cryptocurrency. As a decentralized Proof-of-Work(POW) blockchain, Iron Fish offers users full-private transactions and supports WebRTC. By supporting WebRTC with WebSockets, it reduces the challenge of creating P2P connections. 

The Iron Fish aims to run a full node directly without future iterations in browsers or CLI environments. By doing this, it makes it easy for any person to create a node and join a node. It does so by lowering barriers to entry. 

Like other blockchains, Iron Fish has six ingredients:

Networking

The Networking component of the Iron Fish gives a run of basic networking startups, stacks, messages types, and sequences. Networking provides information about Iron Fish gossip protocol implementation.

Iron Fish Blockchain has a networking system that enables it to perform its unique functions as a blockchain. 

These functions enable it to carry out functions like node interaction, layers transportation, and nodal gossiping.

In building a decentralized blockchain system, creators have not successfully addressed the network address translation {NAT}. It is with the NAT that users can effectively communicate without firewalls and routers. However, by creating sharp accessibility with a combination of Web Sockets and WebRTC, the Iron Fish blockchain has completely addressed the NAT issue.

Asides from the combined action of the Web Sockets and WebRTC, Iron Fish uses an array of techniques to ensure that users connect freely irrespective of their browser and CLI environment. In other words, Iron Fish solves the problem of connection interjection due to technical faults.

That said, once a node is created, there has to be another node ready to connect to the former node. The latter node is known as Bootstrap which, once connected, connects the former node to another peer to form a network. Below, we discuss how nodes form a network in the Iron Fish blockchain.

Startup sequence

Before a network is set up, there has to be a node that initiates a connection or startup. Once the node initiates the startup, the following happens:

Peer connections lifestyle

During a connection, a node maintains a complete knowledge of its peers and other peers connected to it. They do this by occasionally checking for changes in the nodal connections. With that already said, let’s discuss the modality of nodal communication.

Nodal messaging

A nodal message is a unique format member of a group sends messages in a node connection. These messages are usually agreed upon and only peers in a network understand them.

There are different types of messaging with different styles of messaging.

Nodal messaging styles

Gossip

Gossips occur within networks, sending messages from one node to another. Once a node receives gossip, it forwards it to the nearest connected node. The essence of gossip is to propagate changes that occur in a nodal connection.

Direct RPC

This style of messaging helps to send messages to a specifically connected peer and awaits a response. It does this by its Remote Procedure Call {RPC} stream that comprises a request stream and a response stream.

Fire and Forget

The fire and forget style allows users to send messages to connected peers without any confirmation of receipt. This style of messaging is often useful if users need not worry about the recipient receiving the message.

Global RPC

Messages sent here are sent to specific users and other users in the same network. Global RPC resends the message if there are any errors in the message or if the sender doesn’t get a response. However, this style of message favors known peers over unknown peers.

Mining

The mining section in the Iron Fish blockchain describes how the blockchains construct new blocks for their users. In constructing new blocks, they do this randomly for the sake of proof of work and the miners' reward calculation.

Mining in the Iron Fish blockchain is defined by rules that guide the creation of blocks and verification of peers in an incoming block. While on the other hand, miners are nodes that add new blocks to the blockchain. We say a new block is added if a miner finds a hash of a blocker header below a target.

To prevent block accumulation, the Iron Fish block adjusts the difficulty of mining by 15 seconds. This is done if observed blocks are coming in faster or slower.

To mine on the Iron Fish blockchain, your node must know global data structures and must be familiar with the two most recent blocks.

Storage

The storage section helps users understand the basic structures and models of the Iron Fish. Also, it helps users how this layer is accessible in both browser full nodes and CLI.

In discussing an Iron Fish storage system, we’ll be looking at what the system stores and how the system stores.

What does the system store?

Note

A note is a spendable representation of the payment form. It is quite similar to the UTXO of bitcoin. Nodes are referenced privately and are only referenced publicly on two occasions. The first occasion is when the note is severe as an output for a transaction. The second is when the note is in a hashed form. More importantly, notes are always private.

Nullifier

A nullifier is different from a note and it is unlinkable to a note. A nullifier is a distinct identifier to a note and can only be spent if exposed as part of a transaction.

Once exposed, the nullifier is saved on Iron Fish data structures. These data structures help to keep track of all nodes on the Iron Fish blockchain. And there are two of these data structures

Merkel tree notes

The Merkel tree note as an accumulator data structure presents several elements with a tiny identifier. A Merkel note consists of the following

Merkel nullifiers

The Merkel tree of nullifiers functions like the Merkel tree of notes in that it accumulates too but it accumulates are nullifiers. Although, unlike the Merkel note, it accumulates notes in a series of nullifiers.

Also, the Merkel nullifier is used to track all Merkel notes spent and accompanying notes.

How then does the iron fish store data?

In storing data Iron Fish uses a storage layer that works as a Command Line Interface(CLI) tool and a browser.

Account creation

Just like other blockchain accounts, users can create an account on the iron fish blockchain using a Sapling protocol. To better understand how this and other components are necessary for account creation, going through the account creation layer will do.

All transactions on the Iron Fish blockchain are influenced by the Sapling protocol. This section explains the key components of an account.

Secret key

The secret key is necessary for constructing one's wallet and it's a 32-byte random number.

Spending key

The spending is a direct derivation of the secret key. The spending key is used by users to spend notes associated with accounts. The spending key comes in pairs:

Spending authorization key(ask): This private key in this pair is derived by using the modifier Blake2b and placing hands on a secret key. After this, the key is converted into a scalar for the jubjub curve.

Authorization key(ak): The authorization key is a derivation of the public key by the multiplication of the spending authorization key. 

Nullifier keys

The nullifier keys are derived from the secret keys and are necessary for creating nullifiers and spending a note. The nullifiers' keys are into pairs:

The proof authorization key(NSK): The proof of authorization key is the private component on the pair and it's derived by using the modifier Blake2b and placing hands on a secret key. After this, the key is converted into a scalar for the jubjub curve.

The nullifier deriving key: This key is a derivation of the public key by the multiplication of the spending authorization key. 

View key pair

The view key pair comes in two and are:

Outgoing view key(ovk): This key is responsible for the decryption of outgoing transactions. 

Incoming view keys (ivk): The incoming view key allows your decryption of incoming transactions.

Transaction creation

This layer gives a run-through on the applications of zero-knowledge in the Iron Fish blockchain alongside its transaction in conjunction with the Sapling method. Also, it gives a run-through on how to validate and balance existing transactions.

Verification and consensus

This final section simplifies the rules on accepting new block transactions. Oftentimes, this is the layer several users visit the most.

Before now, we discussed how nodes are created but didn't discuss why they're created that way. Nodes are created following the blockchain consensus rules.

The blockchain consensus is a verification layer that sets rules on how nodes accept blocks. This consensus layer is what the Iron Fish blockchain operates on. 

Moving on, the Iron Fish block will be accepted if it has a valid header and body. At high levels, verifying headers will confirm the amount of work behind a header. To confirm the amount of work behind a header, the system checks for a hash numerically lower than the target. 

Moving on, the Iron Fish block will be accepted if it has a valid header and body. At high levels, verifying headers will confirm the amount of work behind a header. To confirm the amount of work behind a header, the system checks for a hash numerically lower than the target. 

Validating a block header

To validate a block header, a receiving block header checks all of the following correctly. 

Validating a block body

To validate a block body, the system validates all transactions in the block. This is done by checking the validity of each transaction.

Iron Fish Gossip Protocol

The Iron Fish gossip protocol broadcasts new transactions and blocks to every peer in a network. To do this, nodes in a network verify incoming transactions, then send them to other peers. After broadcasting the transactions, the nodes validate the incoming blocks before signaling the node’s transaction ledger. The essence of a peer broadcast is that every peer receives messages quickly.

Iron Fish Zero-Knowledge Proof

A Zero-Knowledge proof refers to cryptographic techniques that verify and proof statements without exposing their underlying data. For the Iron Fish blockchain, it can do this by using zk-SNARKs. Essentially, zk-SNARKs shields Iron Fish users’ identities and balances. Because of this, you successfully hide your identity and transaction details.

Unlike bitcoins and ethereum, Iron Fish blockchain transactions are not in the permanent ledger. Instead of this, Iron Fish users can transact without it revealing their balance or their identity. Experts even say the Iron Fish blockchain creates platforms for developers to carry out their work. Most especially, this platform will favor developers who have no foreknowledge of cryptocurrency.

The Iron Fish network uses the sapling protocol created by Zcash to verify transactions on its blockchain. In verifying transactions, they protect their clients and offer better services. 

Not only are they important to developers, but they're also important to cryptographers and enthusiasts in the field. For cryptographers, they can create Rust Coding coinage for their work and other systems. 

To Wrap It Up

The Iron Fish blockchain offers several benefits to its users. One of these is the ease of accessibility into networks for node creation. Another one is the advanced level of its decentralized privacy transactions. 

So, don't be caught in the traps of archaic systems that disallow you from using effective software. It's with effective software that developers develop interesting and mind-blowing software for blockchains as well as platforms related to blockchains. Ensure to update yourself on all of these and enjoy advanced technological solutions. 

Also read: Digital Identification on the Blockchain with Microsoft’s ION 

How is Blockchain Revamping The Supply Chain Industry

What is supply chain management?

The supply chain management is a process of managing a chain or network of activities, individuals, procedures, organizations, and resources that are involved in the execution of the flow of materials from the supplier for its distribution to customers in the most economical way. That is to say, the supply chain is a step by step process which involves physical and information flows. The physical flows involve the movement of goods/resources from the supplier to the customer. They are the visible part of the supply chain. Whereas, the information flows involve all the flow and coordinations that take place between the parties in the supply chain process. The four-step equation below will guide you on how exactly a supply chain works:

1) Supply of raw material:
This is the first step, to begin with, the supply chain of any products, the supplier delivers the raw material of the products to the manufacturer who processes it further.

2) Manufacturing of the goods:
The manufacturer makes the goods from the raw materials and then sends them to the distributor.

3) Distribution of the goods:
After this, the distributor delivers the goods to different retailers.

4) Selling the product:
As soon as they receive the finished goods, retailers sell them to the customers.

Issues in a supply chain:

Traceability issues:

The ability to track the product at every stage of the supply chain is now a crucially important step. The customers have more demands than before, they demand more data regarding where the products come from and what stages have the raw material gone through before coming to them. Sharing authentic information about every step develops the trust of consumers in a brand. However, it is not an easy thing to do. The lack of traceability in the supply chain process causes consumers to lose trust in the brand. If for instance, there is an outbreak of food-borne disease, it takes days or sometimes weeks to trace the actual cause of it.

Cost issues:

The cost to transfer goods from one place to another elevates very quickly. These include fuel of transport, logistics, manpower, the investment in software and management workers.

Fraudulent data issues:

The parties involved in the transfer of goods sometimes may be corrupt or disloyal to each other. They may replace the data of the goods.

Communication issues:

Other times, the parties may be honest, but the data they transfer is fragmented or incomplete, because of less knowledge of each other’s plans of action. For instance, the information about the quality of the raw material of a certain good may be misinterpreted by someone and forwarded to the other party further. Poor communication results in poor records of information, inefficiency, waste, recalls, and customer dissatisfaction.

Safety issues:

The safety of the products matters a lot to customers these days, especially if its a food product. They value their health over everything else. Hence, they demand a lot more from the manufacturer and retailer. The manufacturers have a lot of pressure to produce the best quality products they can. Unpleasant weather conditions, poor storage spaces and transportation delays all affect the safety of a product.

Time issues:

It takes days and sometimes weeks, to sign an agreement between a manufacturer and supplier, and a customer and vendor, just to initiate a supply chain. The contracts take even more time as they require a lawyer and banks.

A real-world example of a supply chain:

The Coca Cola company, headquartered in Atlanta, has one of the biggest supply chain systems in the world. they sell different kinds of beverages but their specialty is Coca Cola itself. Coca Cola company manufactures its concentrated syrup and then sells it to one of its partners like Coca Cola enterprises. The company has a franchised distributed system for the distribution of this syrup to local bottlers all around the world. These enterprises combine concentrated products with different ingredients to manufacture and package the drink. Then they market the product to retailers, and finally, to customers.
The supply chain of the Coca Cola company is spread across more than 200 countries. It has always been a challenge for the company to manage the supply chain. Because of its complexity, it has been inefficient, costly and lacked visibility. All of the cross-company transactions had been inefficient. The company wanted to elevate the cash flow in the supply chain and bring about efficiency.

How is Blockchain revamping the supply chain industry?

Blockchain is more than just a way to transfer digital currency to parties directly. Its three main properties; Transparency, Immutability, Scalability help supply chain management in tons of ways.

Blockchain Supply chain
Blockchain Supply chain

Transparency:

The transparency in supply chain management provides the companies with a clear view of all the information and data with manufacturers, vendors, retailers, and customers. It helps in the tracking of the goods, where they are at the moment, their delays, which path they are taking, where they are stored and at which time they will be delivered to the customers. The chances of misplacement or wastage of a product are nearly impossible this way. Any mishap can be reported directly without any efforts of parties, or costs of transportation.

Immutability:

The immutability of Blockchain technology eliminates the corruption aspect in the supply chain. So no fragmented data or miscommunication. No one can change or edit the transaction record, payment record or any other sort of information once it is sent through a Blockchain-based system.  Blockchain's scalability replaced their paperwork written and checked on by workers, with efficient and trustworthy Blockchain-based systems. It also helps to identify issues with the products faster. The negotiations become faster between parties, adding potential to the overall communication.

Security:

Blockchain adds security to the system, by not letting any third party accessing the information entered by the workers of an organization. Moreover, the potential of Blockchain to connect different nodes or ledgers with each other, keeping their integrity in place is a property that corporations strive to implement in their systems to build brand trust in customers. Permissioned Blockchain platforms, such as Hyperledger Fabric, are now helping companies like Wallmart to not only trace their food products but also maintain the integrity of data among different parties involved in the supply chain process.

A real-world example of a supply chain with Blockchain:

Traceability of products with Hyperledger Fabric:

Walmart is a multinational retail company, headquartered in America, that operates a huge chain of supermarkets, departmental stores, clubs, and grocery stores. Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue according to the Fortune Global 500 list, 2019. It is also the largest employer in the world, with 2.2 million employees working across the globe, in 11,438 stores and 27 clubs in 27 different countries. Walmart has a relatively larger and more complex food supply chain network than many other corporations that operate hypermarkets. It is hard to keep track of food supplies while they are being delivered to and from different points in the supply chain network. Walmart has been failing in implementing systems to help in the supply chain. Luckily, they decided to explore Blockchain technology.
The food safety and technology team at Walmart partnered with IBM and planned to run two proof of concept projects to test how the distributed ledger technology, ‘Blockchain’ could help in their food supply chain network. The POCs could trace two items in two different countries. Mangoes in the US store, and pork in the China store.
The Hyperledger Fabric blockchain-based food tracking and traceability system finally worked! The time to trace the provenance of mangoes used to be 7 days before the implementation of this system. Now, it is 2.2 seconds! For the pork tracing, the system allowed uploading a certificate of authenticity to the blockchain, which brought in more trust in the system. According to a case study written on this POC experiment, Walmart had been building centralized systems that were inefficient for such a supply chain ecosystem. That was the mistake they have been doing. When the IT department put forward the idea of a distributed ledger system for their ecosystem, Walmart team started imagining the possibilities.
After testing, Walmart deployed the new system to trace the origin of 25 different products and 5 suppliers. Currently, it is tracing products like poultry, fresh produce, dairy, and multi-ingredient products with the latest Hyperledger Fabric blockchain-based supply chain system. It plans to deploy it to further products in the near future.
Take a look at the actual case study published by Walmart here.

Want to know about more use cases of Blockchain? Talk to a Blockchain expert from Xord here and get FREE consultation.