Blockchain has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, but for many in the retail sector, it is still seen as “something for the future”. However, many retailers and tech companies are actively looking at ways to deploy blockchain technology (and its close relation, smart contracts) in their business. A recent report by the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies analysed 105 different projects across the US, EMEA and Asia using blockchain in some form in the supply chain (of which 15% are already in production).

Two of the key use cases that are being widely discussed in the retail sector – and the focus of this article – relate to product provenance and supply chain management. However, retailers are exploring other use cases, from revolutionising loyalty programmes and digitising product warranties to potentially allowing for the development of peer-to-peer marketplaces that could compete with the likes of eBay, Uber or Airbnb.

In this article we provide insight into how is blockchain relevant to the retail sector? what some of the fundamental issues are and other legal issues that need to be considered.

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Originally Published on on 5th March 2020.