Baidu, China’s leading web services provider, has recently launched Baidu Trust – a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform. Baidu Financial revealed that the service had been operational since July last year, at least at the experimental stage. However, it launched officially several days ago.
The new site claims that all the elements of the platform have been designed and built in-house, so it is a “self-developed project.” Baidu’s blockchain service can be used in many ways, as the website says:
“Efficient and low cost traceability and trading, ideal for digital currency, payment and settlement, digital ticketing, bank credit management, equity proof and exchange-traded securities, insurance management, financial auditing and more.”
Unlike Microsoft, which offers similar blockchain solutions through its Azure platform, Baidu has developed the technology on its own, which makes it look like a private ledger.
Along with its payment and settlement use cases, Baidu Trust can be applied to asset securitization and exchange. The company claims it has built China’s “first asset-backed securities exchange products using blockchain technology.”
As for its potential application for digital currencies, it is unclear whether we will see some cryptocoins issued on Baidu’s BaaS given China’s negative attitude to the crypto space. In September 2017, the government banned local crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Besides the use cases mentioned above, the Chinese web giant plans to integrate blockchain technology with distributed computing, uncrewed vehicles, and artificial intelligence (AI), among others. Baidu is a world leader in AI technologies.
To date, Baidu has made no announcement regarding the start of a large project on its BaaS platform. However, this may have to do with the service being just launched officially.