Baidu, the Beijing headquartered Chinese Internet Giant, has launched a web service called Baidu Jinkuang which taps into unused hard disk space and extra bandwidth space of users to mine Bitcoins in exchange for real money.
Baidu in a statement put out some caveats to it's users for this program which include a computer equipped with at least a "16-core CPU, 64 gigabyte of storage and 1 gigabit broadband network connection," according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
Once the initial requirements are met the technical team behind Baidu Jinkuang claim that by harnessing peer to peer content delivery networks, or in layman term, leasing the processing power of computers and banding them together to increase processing output...the rate at which Bitcoins will be mined will improve.
Bitcoins are a part of a rising new genre of digital payments called 'cryptocurrencies' that work on blockchain technology with no centralised administrator. The value of a single Bitcoin has ballooned to over $8,000 this year from it's humble beginnings of $10 a Bitcoin in 2012, with China being the leading 'miner' of Bitcoins.
Baidu, often called the Google of China, is well known for it's ubiquitous search engine that operates within the boundaries of the 'Great Firewall of China' a tongue in cheek jibe at the Golden Shield Project, which is China's internet censorship and surveillance tool.
Bluechip international tech giants like Google and Facebook are still blocked in China which makes Chinese tech companies like Baidu the one stop shop for web services.