PBOC-Backed Research Institute Launched a Blockchain Mini-Program Based on Its BaaS Platform
China Banknote Blockchain Research Institute, a Chinese-government backed research body, unveiled a blockchain mini-program on the popular social media app Wechat designed to popularize the nascent technology to the public.
The mini-program, called Pick Your Image, went online last Friday and is touted as a service that will timestamp each submitted image with a real-time identity in under 3 seconds and store related data on the Blockchain Registry Open Platform (BROP), a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform for identity and supply chain tracking developed by China Banknote Blockchain Research Institute. The image DNA on this program will remain tamper proof and live permanently on the blockchain. And the service is free to use.
The research institute is a fully state-owned subsidiary of the Chinese Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, which is run by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) , the country’s central bank. BROP, which was launched in late May, is described as China’s first blockchain platform developed and released by the “national team”. At present, over 100 clients have applied for gaining access to BROP, and around 10 are under joint test and prepare to get online.
Zhang Yifeng, head of the research body told 8BTC that this blockchain mini-program is developed by a young team. “A young team spent nearly a week to build this program. It offers a simple function, and its goal is to popularize blockchain knowledge, enabling the mass to gain access to blockchain in a direct and fast way.” Zhang said.
The mini-program is a small trail based on BROP, which has only a few nodes and allows users to upload 3 pictures per day only. “ We will progressively upgrade it in the coming days.” Zhang said.
However, this is not the first third-party blockchain application launched on China’s most popular messaging platform, Wechat. On May 8, a Beijing-based blockchain startup Niuco Box rolled out the first blockchain mini-program on the platform, called Xiao Xieyi, to allow users on Wechat to initiate tamper-proof contracts. But the Wechat team suspended the program within a day as its service was not authorized by the platform. Besides, China’s e-commerce giant JD.com was reported to unveil a blockchain mini-program too, dubbed “Hash Manor”in the same month.
It’s noteworthy that the mini-program developed by China Banknote Blockchain Research Institute is built atop an open permission chain.
According to Zhang, public blockchains might represent an important development trend, but their performance and relative capabilities fail to support the commercial adoption of blockchain at a large scale in the short term. But the past two years has seen remarkable progress in the performance and security of consortium and private chains,and the two types of blockchain technology have basic capabilities to apply blockchain solutions in many industries.
Traditionally, consortium and private chains control a few nodes, which raises concern over whether such solutions are secure and trustworthy or not. Thus China Banknote Blockchain research Center currently adopts open permission chain.