Xiaomi, one of China's biggest smartphone makers, quietly launched its own CryptoKitties knock-off this morning.
Dubbed Jiami Tu, (or CryptoBunnies, in translation), the service allows users with Xiaomi accounts to adopt digital rabbits with different designs and built-in scarcity on a blockchain system that stores the transactions for each adoption. However, it's unclear at the moment whether the company is using a public or private blockchain to support the product.
Xiaomi said in a service agreement that, to start with, it will only issue a limited number of digital pets, starting at 11:00 a.m. Beijing time every day. The amount available daily is as yet undisclosed.
Despite a somewhat subdued launch for the testing phase of the new service, it seems to have seen enthusiastic engagement from users, with all the CryptoBunnies available for today being adopted within an hour of the service starting.
Xiaomi also specifically highlighted that the platform prohibits any fundraising or trading between fiat and cryptocurrencies through the new crypto collectible, a precaution that follows the China's ban on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency trading last year.
The service marks growing interest from Chinese enterprises in developing blockchain applications as a way to trial the potential of the emerging technology and increase user engagement.
Xiaomi has already joined the Linux Foundation-backed blockchain consortium Hyperledger in bid to utilize blockchain technology to boost the firm's internet solutions.
The CryptoBunnies launch also follows a similar move by the country's search giant Baidu, which rolled out a crypto dog service in early February.
CryptoBunnies image via Xiaomi
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.