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DIY retail giant Lowes implements RFID/Blockchain anti-theft solution
Retail theft exploded in 2022 according to the National Retail Association’s Security Survey. Economic distress combined with a “no-consequences” view for shoplifters leaves store owners with few options against inventory losses. Fortunately, advances in blockchain and internet-of-things technologies can mitigate some of this loss where other solutions fail.
For example, DIY retail giant Lowes implemented a solution using RFID tags and NFTs to enable the on/off function of a power tool upon purchase. If a state change to the NFT does not occur because the tool was stolen, that tool simply won’t work. Rachel Wolfson of Cointelegraph discussed this innovation with Lowe’s Innovation Lab’s senior director of ecosystem practice, Josh Shabtai:
Shabtai noted that RFID chips are a low-cost solution that many retailers use to prevent theft. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2022 Retail Security Survey, 38.6% of retailers already implement or plan to implement RFID systems. However, Shabtai explained that combining RFID systems with a blockchain network can provide retailers with a transparent, tamper-proof record to track in-store purchases. He said:
“Through Project Unlock, a unique ID is registered and assigned to each of our power tools. When that product is purchased, the RFID system activates the power tool for use. At the same time, the transaction can be viewed by anyone, since that information gets recorded to a public blockchain network.”
We support this type of innovation that combines existing tools and decentralized systems to address problems like theft and fraud.