Baidu enters blockchain fray

China’s search engine giant Baidu has launched the beta version of its blockchain project Xuperchain. The platform will provide a plug-and-play solution for decentralized applications in China and beyond, including the deployment of smart contracts. Already, it has processed close to half a billion transactions.

With Xuperchain, Baidu aims at making DApps as easy and cost-effective as possible, eliminating the barrier to entry especially for small enterprises. As reported by Chinese crypto news site 8BTC, it will only cost developers 1 yuan ($0.14) to deploy a DApp on the platform, an offer that will run until March.

According to its website, the platform has 3.5 million users who have made 462 million transactions. The platform purportedly processes 353 transactions per second. It allows developers to build smart contracts and manage them throughout their lifecycle, using Solidity and Go. To simplify the process for developers, it uses parallel chain technology. It’s also compatible with some other blockchains which is meant to foster wider uptake.

Baidu, which is regarded as China’s Google, has partnered with several institutions on the project which will host its nodes. They include the Beijing Internet Court, Peking University, electric vehicle giant TGOOD, AiBank and more.

Xuperchain has been under development since 2018. Since then, it has been applied for a variety of uses, with the storage and transfer of medical records being among the main ones. The network stores medical diagnoses, treatments, drug prescriptions and more. This information can then be easily accessed by the patients and the doctors as well, reducing the costs and time associated with the process.

Being China’s main gateway to the internet, Baidu plays an important role in shaping several industries, especially those in the technology realm. Its blockchain push is thus quite a boost for the technology. It also comes at a time when several internet giants in China have stepped up their blockchain efforts. These include e-commerce giant Alibaba which is a global leader in blockchain patent applications.

Yet another e-commerce behemoth, JD.com, has also majored on blockchain, applying for over 200 blockchain patents. The company also has a blockchain research and development lab. Tencent is also a big player in the space, working on its own projects as well as collaborations with the government. The gaming and social media giant is currently developing blockchain invoice standards for leading nations including the U.K. and Switzerland.

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