Blockchain technology is the new buzzword, luring Chinese tech giants to jump on the bandwagon. Several blockchain technology-based products have emerged such as Xiaomi’s cryptorabbits, Baidu’s cryptodoggies, and NetEase’s Lucky Cat. NetEase released a blockchain sharing platform dubbed “Planet” (星球基地), where users can store and trade their data. NetEase expects Planet to “engage individual value creators in value sharing.”
By using Planet, users are able to manage their digital assets, which are protected by Planet’s blockchain-based storage encryption technology. Companies or individuals who want to access individual data assets can trade directly with the real owner of these data.
Gu Feiyong, Product Manager of Planet, told TechNode that the platform is a new effort by NetEase Finance to revamp the business value and ecosystem by using blockchain technology. Users create useful data every day, including credit data, browsing trails, shopping, entertainment, travel, and more. Planet provides an ecosystem for users to better and more securely manage their behavioral data through blockchain-based storage encryption technology and realizes value enhancement with decentralized measures.
“Black Diamond” (黑钻) is Planet’s cryptocoin for trading digital assets and settlement. The users can earn Black Diamonds by completing tasks that reward users. Currently, the total number of Black Diamonds is 240,000.
Black Diamonds have similar characteristics to Bitcoin. Both are virtual currencies based on the blockchain technology and are generated from dynamic data.
Planet is seeking a daily production of 270,000 Black Diamonds in the first year, halved once every two years. It indicates the difficulty of getting a Black Diamond will grow over time, another similar characteristic to Bitcoin. Once awarded, Black Diamond cannot be traded.
Force, an indicator of user activity, is an influencer for the users’ capabilities to obtain Black Diamonds. The users can earn Force by browsing, trading, and having more social interactions on Planet. The higher the Force, the easier it will be for users to obtain Black Diamond.
Users with more than 35 pairs of Force have a chance to win an additional Black Diamond jackpot, called Lucky Drill, which also consumes a certain amount of Force. Failure to collect Black Diamond for 48 hours will suspend growth.
Users can also collect Force from different tasks, such as Sesame Credit authorization, facial recognition, shopping, entertainment, education, finance, inviting friends to register, etc.
NetEase said in a statement that the company is still advancing the technology that supports the system and the cryptocoin.
However, Planet has also raised controversies. Users are required to submit their info when they register, including names, ID cards, and the telephone information. Some insiders are concerned users’ private information can be misused, and even leaked to unknown companies.
“We do not store any user data. All user data can only be accessed by the user who holds a personal private key. Any third party, including NetEase Financial, cannot view users’ data without the permission,” says Gu.
Meanwhile, Sesame Credit authorization, which could previously add 30 units of Force has been recently disabled. WeChat, China’s biggest social messaging app, has also prohibited the promotion of Planet on its platform claiming that many users have complained about “induced sharing.”
Ablack market for Black Diamonds trading has surfaced. “Black Diamond does not support trading and this is certainly astray from our initial goal of launching the product. We remind users to pay attention to the screening of information to stay away from scams,” says Gu.
Currently, Planet is still in the internal testing stage. The user can only be invited to sign for an account. The project is hatched by NetEase, and there are no financing needs at this stage.
—Translation by Carol Peng and Emma Lee
Images courtesy of NetEase