Baidu, the so-called ‘Chinese Google,’ just released their own whitepaper on their own independent network system called “XuperChain.” The whitepaper was released by their own Baidu Blockchain Lab. The whitepaper outlines the Lab’s new XuperChain network, its AI capabilities, and a host of applications it will be able to handle. These applications will apply to the fields of copyright, information security, and more as per the announcement.
Baidu is one of the largest companies in China with over $80 billion in revenue as of 2017. In the Alexa Internet rankings, Baidu is currently listed 4th in the world. Not just a giant in China, Baidu is also one of the largest AI and internet companies anywhere in the world. Right after Google, Baidu is the largest search engine in the world and makes up some 75% of all the search engine market share in China.
The whitepaper details the possibility of making a commercial blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) cloud. The BaaS cloud will include six XuperChain-based applications which do not require powerful hardware to run. The blockchain-based system is run via nodes. The XuperChain nodes utilize multi-core parallel calculations which effectively maximizes the work of processors. This increases the network bandwidth overall. Sidechains on the system are possible, but they are all dictated by the root block. Pluggable consensus means that parallel chains can choose a suitable mechanism, sort of like a self-correcting organism. XuperChain will also support a voting mechanism for some decisions on-chain.
Baidu in the whitepaper outlined a few possible use-cases for the XuperChain network. They include: food quality safety, quality control, retail trade, manufacturing, financing of supplies, intellectual property, tourism, social networks, and contracts. Baidu also hopes to use XuperChain to certify their digital assets, settlements, debts, supply chains, and games.
Baidu is yet another Chinese firm to formally announce they are looking into blockchain. Another Chinese giant, Alibaba, has been probing in the space all year with the same intention but they have yet to release a formal whitepaper. Baidu with this release makes clear that their own Baidu Lab is working on blockchain technology as a replacement for their existing cloud-based system. And judging from the whitepaper, it seems that they are planning on moving the organization of the majority of their assets onto the chain. Being an AI-centered internet company, XuperChain will likely have many more applications than just the existing ones we are used to today.
Baidu stands to gain much from using blockchain in a crowded global market that is turning more and more towards this exciting new technology.