Baidu, the “Chinese Google” Launches A Blockchain Photo App

Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant and the owner of a private XuperChain network has now extended its foot into blockchain technology with a new app – Totem. It has incentivised its user to a blockchain based phot validating and sharing app.

On Wednesday, the firm announced that the app is now live and features a dedicated token called Totem Point, in a press conference held in Beijing. The launch marks the first application on Baidu’s private network.

The app is set to release 4.5 billion tokens at an inflation rate of 4.5 percent to encourage users and institutions to submit original photographs. The number of tokens awarded to a particular user would depend upon the validation process. This includes the quality and the quantity of the photos uploaded by the user.

This initiative was first announced in April with a motive to protect the users’ intellectual property by creating a traceable chain of tamper-proof data. While the Totem service was launched in April there was no mention of an accompanying token by Baidu at that time. It has been termed as a unique offering under the blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) model, which helped users to copyright their original photos uploaded by them on the traceable chain. It is also not known if there is any plan to list the token on a cryptocurrency exchange.

After a user uploads a photograph, the nodes participating in the blockchain, such as invited photo stock agents and copyright protection organisations validate the originality of the images. If approved in the process, the nodes timestamp the information of the upload and store it in the blockchain. This produces verifiable data that could prove to be crucial in case of a copyright dispute. Furthermore, Baidu is looking forward to adding other types of digital media assets as well such as videos, maybe by the first quarter of the next year.

Yet, it is not clear whether the Totem token could be exchanged by fiat currency or any other cryptocurrencies.  However, the company states that the token could be used across different applications present in their XuperChain network.

The launch is another remarkable step by the Chinese giant into blockchain space as the company delivers its first usable service. Moreover, these moves are relatively bold as the trade and use of cryptocurrency is banned in China.