Chinese internet search giant Baidu has launched a proprietary token to incentivize users of its new blockchain-based photo validating and sharing service.
The firm announced on Wednesday during a press conference in Beijing that the photo sharing platform – called Totem – is now live and features a dedicated token called Totem Point, according to a local news report. The launch marks the first blockchain application to be released on Baidu's private XuperChain network.
Baidu said it will initially generate 4 billion Totem tokens with an annual inflation rate of 4.5 percent to encourage individuals and institutions to submit original photographs.
According to a white paper also revealed today, the quantity of tokens awarded will depend on the validation process, including the quantity and quality of images submitted by a user.
Whether or not the Totem token can be traded for cash or other cryptocurrencies has not been disclosed as yet. Similarly, its full use case scenarios have not been spelled out, although Baidu did say that the token could ultimately be used across different applications built on top of the XuperChain network.
Baidu first announced the Totem initiative in April – without mentioning the token – describing it as a distributed platform that creates a traceable chain of tamper-proof data to protect photo sharers' intellectual property.
After platform users upload their original images through the application, the blockchain's participating nodes, such as invited third party photo stock agents and copyright protection organizations, will validate the originality of the images. If approved, the nodes timestamp the images' critical information and store it on Baidu's blockchain, producing verifiable data that could be vital in the event of a copyright dispute later on, the company said.
As a next step, Baidu aims to expand the blockchain rights protection system to include other types of digital media asset such as videos, an addition expected by the first quarter of next year.
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