Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc. (BIDU), often referred to as China’s Google, has announced the launch of a proprietary blockchain-based crypto token linked to Totem, its photo validating and sharing service, according to CoinDesk. Totem becomes the first blockchain application to be launched on Baidu's private XuperChain network. The Totel platform, and the associated, dedicated token called Totem Point, is now live. (See also: Baidu Vs. Google: How Are They Different?)
It works by encouraging and incentivizing the individual users as well as the institutions to submit original photos on the platform. The number of Totem Point tokens awarded to the user will depend upon the quality, quantity and the validation of the images they submit.
While the Totem service was announced by Baidu in April, there was no mention of an accompanying token at that time. It was termed as a new unique offering under the blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) model, which allows user to protect their intellectual property rights on the original photos they upload on the traceable blockchain. The platform supports validation by third-party stock photo agencies as well as by copyright protection organizations, which authenticate the images and their originality. Once approved, the image’s metadata—its key image information—along with the approving node's timestamp is stored on the blockchain platform. This creates an auditable trail allowing for verifying the authenticity of the image in case of any future disputes. Baidu is expected to launch an extension of this service early next year with similar offering to host video content on its blockchain.
How Does the Totem Point Token Work?
A total of 4 billion Totem tokens will be generated by Baidu. The cryptocurrency will have an annual inflation rate of 4.5% to keep the participants engaged and increase its monetary value over time.
It is not yet clear whether the Totem tokens can be exchanged for fiat or any other cryptocurrencies, though the company has confirmed that it can be potentially used across different applications built on top of its XuperChain network. It is also not known whether there is any plan to list them on a cryptocurrency exchange.
The launch marks another initiative by the Chinese technology giant into blockchain space, as the company debuts its first usable service on XuperChain network. (See also: How Baidu Makes Money.)
Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.