China’s biggest search engine, Baidu launches a blockchain image app with a proprietary token as an incentive for its new photo validating and sharing service entitled Totem.
At a press conference in Beijing, the firm announced that the photo sharing platform, which features a dedicated token called ‘Totem Point‘, is now live, marking the first blockchain application to be released on Baidu’s private XuperChain network.
According to the Totem whitepaper, also released today, it states:
“there are millions of excellent photographers and photography teams in the country as suppliers of massive quality pictures, and other enterprises such as advertisements and media as image demanders. Up to 10 billion market space.”
The internet giant already has established relationships with a large number of resources in the copyright industry, equating to a daily distribution volume of over 10 billion yuan, making it perfectly positioned to take the lead in the picture copyright industry.
The Totem platform is designed as a distributed platform that utilises blockchain technology to create a traceable chain of tamper-proof data to protect photo sharers’ intellectual property, the totem website states:
“Based on the credibility and irreparable modification of the blockchain technology, the Totem copyright registration will record the author and picture information, which will be used to provide the user with time proof and content confirmation of the original work.”
Baidu have partnered with third party photo stock agents and copyright protection organisations, that will be given permissions as blockchain nodes that will validate the originality of the images.
If approved, the nodes timestamp the images’ along with the immutable copyright information, producing verifiable data on Baidu’s blockchain, and front-end website, that could be vital in the event of a copyright dispute later on.
Although Baidu had initially revealed the plans to launch a photo sharing app in April, no mention of a token was announced.
Baidu have said that 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.
The quantity of ‘Totem Points’ (tokens) awarded will depend on the validation process, including the quantity and quality of images submitted by a user.
The aim is to build a rewards system, whereby the tokens or rather ‘Totem Points’, can be used across a variety of applications built on top of the XuperChain network.
The full use case scenarios for the Totem Point token have not yet been outlined, and speculation of whether or not it can be traded for cash or other cryptocurrencies has been a topic of conversation within the crypto community.
As a next step, Baidu aims to expand the blockchain image platform to include other types of digital media asset such as videos, by the first quarter of next year.
Baidu are not alone in this space, Sony are developing a blockchain for digital rights in entertainment, and earlier this month Microsoft partnered with EY to potentially create the largest enterprise network with a blockchain for copyright.