On January 12, it was announced that one of China’s leading websites in terms of traffic, the search engine Baidu, launched a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform called Baidu Trust. According to Baidu Financial, the BaaS, or at least a pilot version of it, has been operational since July 21, 2017.
The Chinese-American company envisions the open platform offering the most “user-friendly” blockchain service. On the new site, it is referred to as a “self-developed project” designed to be used in a multitude of ways: “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.”
The platform touts “openness” and “customizability” with registration open to the public and blockchain nodes available to customize and deploy.
Baidu says the technology has already been applied in asset securitization and exchange, and claims it has contributed to the “first asset-backed securities exchange products using blockchain technology in China”, in addition to mentioning that up until now the technology had in fact already been used in the areas of asset securitization and exchange.
Baidu has also conducted research into blockchain technology’s utility in the fields of unmanned vehicles, AI, IoT, and distributed computing, and this blockchain-as-a-service platform has been operational since late July of 2017. At that time, the project entered private beta testing. After nearly six months of collecting data, the platform has now been unveiled and opened to the public.
The firm has apparently been exploring blockchain technology’s FinTech applications since 2015, and in 2013 it announced that it would be accepting the cryptocurrency bitcoin as the sole means of payment from customers of its security service Jiasule.