Target’s Activity in the Field of Blockchain
The Target company, one of the biggest prominent international companies in the field of retail, is researching and developing Blockchain-based solutions. With more than 1800 stores, Target is the eighth biggest retail company in the U.S., and its headquarters is located in the state of Minnesota. According to news, since last year, Target has been developing a project named ConsenSource. An open source version of this project is available to the public on Github. According to published documents about this project, ConsenSource is a Blockchain that helps the sustainable distribution of products from certified companies and will make it possible for users to distinguish between data. The custodians in the field of standard, distributors, and manufacturers will be the main users of this platform. The ConsenSource project has been developed based in the Hyperledger Sawtooth. Sawtooth is among the hyperledgers that is intended for establishing collaboration in the development of secure and applicable Blockchains needed for the industry that is supported by the Linux Foundation. Target has recently announced that it will also support the Hyperledger Grid project. Hyperledger Grid is another project that is protected by the Linux Foundation that is focused on the supply chains. Hyperledger Grid project has been supported by the company Cargill, one of the biggest companies in the food industry and one of the suppliers of Target. According to Cargill, this support aims to develop a platform to respond to the supply chain needs in the field of agriculture. Hyperledger Grid has also been supported by other big companies such as Intel. It is worth mentioning that both companies of Cargill and Target are members of a consortium called the ABCCD, whose aim is developing a platform based on the Blockchain and AI in distributing agriculture products.
The publications of ads about attracting experts in the field of developing system and Blockchain in the official website of Target indicates this company’s seriousness in facilitating its project in the field of Blockchain. According to what has been published in this ad, the needed expert of Target will develop Consensource and Hyperledger projects. According to Joel Crabb, one of the managers of Target, Consensource project has been experimentally implemented and tested in the paper manufacturing section of Target with the collaboration of wood manufacturer. In this simulation, the needed data were tested to be stored in the Blockchain. According to Joel Crabb, Consensource has been released the open source to increase the speed of development, transparency, and reducing costs.
A similar platform named Food Trust that is based on the Fabric hyperledger has been implemented with the collaboration of IBM and one of the prominent rivals of Target, i.e., Walmart. In September of last year, Walmart announced that this system would be used to trace the products of the manufacturers of spinach and cabbage. Currently, prominent international companies in the food industry like Unilever and Nestle use this platform.
As it was turned out, Blockchain’s unique features, such as transparency, data traceability, being undeletable and tamper-proof, has attracted the attention of manufacturers and distributors of various commercial products in the world. The investment of companies like Target, Walmart, and Cargill and establishing the ABCCD consortium in the agriculture industry can greatly help the development of Blockchain projects and adjusting it with the needs of the industry.