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Baidu’s Superchain Protocol


The Crypto world doesn’t take a break. Over the weekend, the news broke that Baidu, the company that’s effectively China’s Google, is developing a protocol that it hopes will reduce Crypto mining’s energy consumption.


Baidu’s Chief Scientist, Xiao Wei, was the one to do the honors at an apparently, regional conference. Even so, it’s important to note that this is not Baidu’s first rodeo with the Blockchain.


 According to Coin Telegraph and Technode, Baidu already launched what it calls a “BaaS Platform,” or a Blockchain as a Service Platform, in 2017. At the same time, however, Tencent, the company behind the massively successful Chinese version of WhatsApp called WeChat, had already launched their own version of the same product.


The key idea behind Baidu’s BaaS Platform is to offer a sort of a subscription based, b2b model in which companies pay to access Baidu’s blockchain in various ways, in order to store assets and exchange them more securely than with traditional methods. As of now, they’ve released one product on their BaaS platform, which allows companies to store the rights to digital images. 


Given that Superchain, according to Wei and Baidu, can “insert and remove consensus mechanisms to solve the current energy consumption problem,” it would seem that Baidu is poised to be the first mover on what is arguably, Blockchain’s biggest roadblock in the case of widespread adoption. If they can demo this on their existing Blockchain with a clear level of success, then this future position seems all the more likely.


Before even thinking about demoing the Blockchain, however, it would be best to make clear exactly what consensus mechanisms Baidu is referring to here, to add a little context to their statements. First off, because reports clearly state that the “Superchain” is trying to veer away from Proof-of-Work based consensus algorithms to provide something better, it is safe to assume they will not be using PoW.


Secondly, according to a report by Bitcoin Radio, because Proof-of-Stake can be ruled out due to the fact that the richest users usually hold the most power on the network, it is logical that Baidu might start with Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus. The problem with Bitcoin Radio’s idea is that some experts have pointed out the lack of any difference between Proof of Work, Proof of Stake and BFT consensus mechanisms. Reportedly, BFT is largely an umbrella term for those that exist today.


Thus in the end, it’s reasonably clear what Baidu won’t use.  As of now, the only question that remains is what will serve as their main consensus mechanism? How will the “Superchain” reduce energy consumption mathematically and scientifically? One can reasonably assume that the answers will arrive in the near future, as the initial announcements on the project have only recently just been made.





By: BGN Editorial Staff


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