The Chinese version of Google, Baidu, is reportedly offering an “Open Network” for developers looking to get into blockchain.
Developers and smaller outfits with lower cost barriers will be able to build on the company’s Xuperchain without having to invest in a lot of architecture.
The cost for using the new service, which includes smart contract templates and other tools to help a developer get off the ground, can be less than a dollar.
Baidu claims its Xuperchain has millions of users and has processed nearly half a billion transactions, according to Coindesk.
Baidu’s new blockchain-as-a-service product will make development on Xuperchain seem more like building for the web.
The majority of the infrastructure is already there, and all the developer has to do is building something that works with existing frameworks.
In the same way that the proliferation of easier development products spurred the creation of billions of websites in the early days of the web itself, Baidu’s product will likely encourage would-be blockchain developers who struggle with things like funding and technical debt.
If Baidu’s blockchain really has over 3 million active users, then it’s one of the most active blockchains in the world. The estimated number of Bitcoin traders worldwide is under 50 million, after all.
It should be stressed that Baidu’s blockchain products are not financial in nature, at least not yet. One potential financial application is accommodation of the coming digital version of the Chinese yuan.
The Xuperchain stack was launched 2 years ago this month.
In August last year, the company worked to launch a healthcare blockchain offering.
While it is intended to take over the entire Chinese healthcare establishment, the blockchain, dubbed the “Chongqing Model” for its location, focuses on prescriptions now. These are the types of non-financial applications that some say will never see “mass adoption.”