Baidu has just released a public beta of its own cryptocurrency, called Xuperchain, according to local reports. The network is compliant within China and uses a series of masternodes to run the network—suggesting it isn't decentralized.
But, with masternodes in hand, it fits in the category of high-performance blockchains. According to its whitepaper, the blockchain-based network is capable of supporting more than 10,000 transactions per second. The whitepaper also states Baidu has more than 50 patents for the blockchain platform.
The underlying code for the Xuperchain blockchain was open-sourced back in May, last year. It can be seen on GitHub. Xuperchain also has its own block explorer where you can look at transactions on the network.
The Xuperchain platform is designed to support blockchain-based applications, similar to Ethereum.
The Xuperchain whitepaper says that its role is to help modernize China's capacity for governance. It wants to help China "leapfrog" other countries in the development of blockchain technology, pointing to the "13th Five-Year National Informatization Plan," written in 2016, which included blockchain.
The launch of the Xuperchain blockchain comes not long after China President Xi Jinping dedicated a speech to the development of blockchain technology and how he hopes China will be at the forefront of its development.
Update: This article has been amended to show the cryptocurrency has been released as a public beta.