China’s Wikipedia Adds Blockchain-Based Revision System

By Daniel Zo Baidu, Blockchain, China

As part of China’s censorship moves, the Chinese version of Wikipedia has been banned at the beginning of 2018. Despite this, there is an alternative to the encyclopedia available in the country, this being Baidu Baike, which is the search giant’s equivalent to the platform.

Now, recent reports indicate that the website has implemented blockchain technology, in order to help record all revision entries. The move is meant to bring more transparency alongside traceability for revisions to the online platform.

China Beijing

What is interesting, however, is the fact that Baidu has not publicly announced the introduction of the feature. However, upon searching on the encyclopedia, the service shows all previous revisions of an article as recorded onto the blockchain network, each with its very own hash value.

In a conversation with CoinDesk, a Baidu representative has stated that the feature has been made available to the public on Monday, the 28th of May. However, hashing of revision histories started roughly a week ago.

It is believed that the service is based on Baidu’s very own permissioned blockchain, which means that the gross of the data cannot be accessed by the public. Because of this, it is unknown whether records include other details, such as when the revision was made, who the contributor was, or reasons for the revisions.

At this moment in time, Baidu has not yet addressed technical questions. The company believes that the main goal of the blockchain integration is to further increase the credibility of the encyclopedia. Baidu Baike was launched back in 2008, and since then, 15.2 million entries have been made, with roughly 6.4 belonging to volunteer contributors.

Apart from implementing blockchain technology on the platform, Baidu is actively looking for other possible use cases. Past experiments include the CryptoKitties currency, and a stock photo website, based on blockchain technology.

For those who do not know, China is preparing to introduce a unified blockchain standards approach, which would force all blockchain-related companies to respect standards, meant to ensure customer security, and legislative compliance. It is believed that the standards will be made mandatory sometime in 2019.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, these developments mark more of the on-going experiments with blockchain technology, being carried out in China.