At the end of November, Baidu quietly launched a peer-to-peer (P2P) CDN called Baidu Jinkuang, which lets users exchange idle bandwidth and storage for cash rewards. Unlike Xunlei’s cloud computing product built on blockchain, OneCloud, Baidu P2P CDN is not powered by blockchain, nor does it work in connection with cryptocurrencies.
The essence of the idea behind Baidu P2P CDN is to bring down traditional CDN costs by incentivizing users to act as nodes to provide storage, acceleration and distribution capabilities for other users, rather than investing in its own infrastructure (as in the case of traditional CDNs). It is particularly aimed at users in areas with poor Internet infrastructure, allowing them to leverage other users’ spare bandwidth and capacity. Home users can connect to the P2P CDN network via the SDK provided by Baidu P2P CDN to offer storage, accelerated services, and distribution capabilities.
On the official website, users are invited to participate in either the public version for individuals, or apply for the professional version for corporations. Users need only download the Baidu P2P CDN client, and then they are logged in automatically to the software, allowing them to put their idle bandwidth and other unused PC resources to use, such as RAM, hard disc space, GPUs and CPUs. Jinkuang translates to ‘gold mine’, which refers to the passive income that PC users can make from their unused hardware resources. Proceeds are automatically credited to the user’s account.
Users can also apply to be a “super machine” if they are able to share idle bandwidth of over 1G helping supply Internet capacity at peak times or sudden surges in usage. In return, super machines get access to an exclusive customer service channel, and receive higher financial rewards. Super miners would need a system of at least a 16-core CPU and 64 GB’s of RAM, along with a 1 GB broadband Internet connection.
Users are rewarded according to how much network traffic they contribute to the P2P CDN network, and payment is settled in cash or via the chance to redeem a “high value gift card”. The corporate nodes receive their payment through public-to-public bank transfers, and individual users can withdraw their funds through their Baidu wallet. No tokens or cryptocurrencies are involved in the process.
Public information shows that Baidu obtained a CDN business license on September 18th, 2017.