Chinese internet giant Baidu, often called the “Google of China” for its overwhelming dominance in the country’s search engine and web services market has published the Baidu White Paper V1.0 on Sep 26, 2018. The white paper elaborates a homegrown blockchain network Baidu refers to as the “Super Chain.”
Baidu Outlines BaaS Platform
The white paper delves into the various aspects of the so-called Super Chain network system and the “supernode” technology that powers it. Baidu also mentions that the network is entirely homegrown and has developed independently of any similar existing solution.
The paper discusses a great deal about commercializing the Baidu cloud blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform and then goes on highlighting six applications where the Super Chain is expected to make a formidable impact. These are Totem, Baidu Association, Degree Universe, Encyclopedia Online, Hubert, and Treasure Chest.
The Baidu White Paper V1.0 describes the Super Chain as a stereo network of blockchain that supports both parallel and sidechains. At the heart of the network is the Root Chain, which is tasked with overseeing parallel chains. Additionally, the Root Chain is also responsible for managing the operating parameters of the entire network and assisting individual chains during data exchanges.
As pointed out by the paper, the Super Chain operates on a “pluggable consensus mechanism,” which means it empowers all parallel chains to come up with their consensus mechanism. Apart from that, it also facilitates an internal voting mechanism whenever there is a consensus escalation.
One impressing feat about the supernode architecture is that it makes the optimal use of distributed ledger technology to defy the hardware limitations of primary blockchain nodes somewhat.
This results in superior computing power and elastic scalability of storage. As computing power and storage are released, the native parallel chain setup, along with the stereo network technology maximize the blockchain performance.
In other words, Baidu wants to leverage the superposition of multiple technologies to extract the performance of “tens of thousands” of individual chains from the single Super Chain. At the same time, the Super Chain is also optimized to manage large numbers of parallel chains to ensure relative performance flexibility throughout the network.
As for availability, Tan Bai, chief architect of Baidu and director of the blockchain laboratory, said earlier in 2018: “ We will further promote the open source and openness of the Super Chain in the future, and provide the Super Chain as an infrastructure to all developers.”
The white paper mentions that users will be able to use dApps right from the Super Chain App portal, although it didn’t confirm a release date.
Baidu promises multiple uses of the Super Chain technology, including in verticals such as food safety monitoring, product quality evaluation, manufacturing, retail, supply chain, intellectual property, trading, finance, social networking, and tourism, to name a few.
Worth noting here is that in June 2018, the Chinese search engine giant mentioned the Super Chain protocol while elaborating new technologies that can drastically reduce energy consumption by cryptocurrency mining rigs. Although, the company’s priorities seem to have changed since then.