Chinese online search giant Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has launched a blockchain pet project that is similar to CryptoKitties granting users the ability to adopt, raise as well as trade digital pets such as dogs. Currently CryptoKitties is one of the largest blockchain-based games. Baidu’s version of the blockchain-based game will focus on dogs and will be launched just ahead of China’s Year of the Dog.

This is the latest Baidu initiative with regards to virtual currencies. Earlier in the year the online search giant unveiled a blockchain platform design for conducting and tracing transactions in various applications including financial auditing and insurance management.

Digital puppies

In Chinese the Chinese name for the Baidu blockchain game is Laici Gou. On the website of the cryptodoggie game, there are various types of digital puppies all bearing varying price levels and designs. They are all ranked depending on scarcity. Currently the digital dog game is being tested internally while there are also plans to launch a game that is similar to CryptoKitties in China.

Axiom Zen, a startup based in Canada has taken credit for creating CryptoKitties, the first blockchain-based game in the world. The game was unveiled last November and players of the game can breed as well as trade digital kittens via smart contracts that are based on the Ethereum platform.

Complimentary points

Initially registered users of Baidu will be in a position to adopt the first digital dog at no cost. They will then receive complimentary points numbering 1,000 which they can make use of on the marketplace of Baidu. At the moment the price of the platform’s scarcest dog is 100 million points.

Once it is launched publicly users will be in a position to earn points for the purchase of pet dogs using Baidu Wallet for instance. However the points will be limited to this function.

“The points can only be used to purchase Baidu’s digital dogs and have no other functions,” said Baidu in a statement.

Baidu is however not the first tech firm based in China to introduce a blockchain-based pet game. At the beginning of the year NetEase which is based in Hangzhou, China, unveiled a blockchain-based digital cat which went by the moniker ‘fortune cat’.