For just 1 yuan, users can access the beta version of this blockchain system that sits on an open network that is hosted by China’s largest Internet search site.
This XuperChain is an open network blockchain system that is built on Baidu’s own in-house open source technology. Apparently, the main objective behind the system is to empower SMEs and developers within the Chinese marketplace. According to Securities Times Network, the network consists of ‘super alliance’ nodes throughout the country and it complies with Chinese standards. Users will have access to an environment for rapid deployment of blockchain applications and computing power.
Decentralized applications or dapps is what this system is all about. These dapps are built using blockchain-based computer programs, akin to smart contracts, and members can use them to automate certain kinds of transactions. Figures from the official XuperChain website claim that since 2018, the blockchain network has processed over 450 million transactions and has housed approximately 3.5 million users. It is believed that in terms of transaction processing speed, Xuperchain is 23 times faster than Ethereum.
Master nodes in the XuperChain system deploy a core’s idle computing power to process parallel transactions and this design overcomes latency issues and makes crypto mining more energy efficient. Amazingly, while Ethereum is capable of executing 15 transactions per second, XuperChain claims a peak of 353 transactions per second. According to industry publications, Baidu holds over 50 patents related to XuperChain and the entire ownership of its intellectual properties too.
It was back in 2019 that Forbes reported that China was planning to release a virtual currency in place of its domestic currency, the yuan. There were also reports that the People’s Bank of China will regulate the monitoring and supply of the digital yuan as well. Seven key institutions, namely the China Construction Bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, and the Agricultural Bank will work together with Chinese tech companies like Alibaba, Tencent and UnionPay to make all this a reality.
Even the state-owned Bank of China has used blockchain to issue bonds, and according to Sina Finance, the bank recently completed the issuance of a 20 billion yuan (USD 2.8 billion) worth of small enterprise and micro-enterprise bonds via blockchain. Interestingly, ByteDance, the Chinese technology company behind TikTok, the social media app that is always courting controversy, is also venturing into blockchain and artificial intelligence development.
There have always been talks about countries, governments and companies the world over jostling each other on how best to utilize this technology. Banknotes are quickly becoming obsolete and expensive for central banks to manage, while decentralized cryptocurrencies might also pose a threat to conventional monetary policy as well.
As reported in the South China Morning Post, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has said that is making ‘smooth progress’ on creating a sovereign digital currency, but will not be drawn on a launch date anytime soon. At the end of the day, just how will companies react to a sovereign digital currency that is designed as a replacement for cash and not designed for speculation. The naysayers believe that such a situation will only lead to confusion and not really add to any new level of convenience. As they say, only time will tell if it was time well spent.
Source: MIT Technology Review
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