Chinese Internet Giant Baidu Releases CryptoKitties-Style Game ‘Leci Gou’

Baidu crypto kitties
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Search engine giant Baidu has launched a CryptoKitties-style blockchain application in a bid to challenge the popular — and lucrative — game for supremacy in the Chinese market.

Baidu Releases CryptoKitties-Style Game ‘Leci Gou’

The app, called “Leci Gou,” features puppies instead of kittens, but the concept will sound quite familiar to CryptoKitties users.

Users can adopt digital pets, each of which has unique physical attributes that determine its rarity and value. Owners can breed their digital dogs, or they can sell them to other users.

leci gou
Source: Baidu

But while CryptoKitties runs on the public Ethereum blockchain, Baidu has not revealed whether Leci Gou is using a public blockchain or a private one developed and maintained in-house by its blockchain research team, which participates in the Hyperledger consortium.

Another difference is that — at least at present — Leci Gou only accepts the blockchain’s native token, so users cannot buy and sell pets using actual money unless they facilitate these transactions off the platform. However, Baidu says that the game is still in beta testing, so it is possible the company will monetize it later on.

In the meantime, new users with Baidu accounts can adopt one digital puppy and receive 1,000 in-game tokens for free.

CryptoKitties Comes to China

Notably, the release of Leci Gou comes just weeks before CryptoKitties itself launches in China through a distribution agreement with Hong Kong gaming firm Animoca Brands, according to a Quartz report.

According to the publication, the game will be distributed during the Lunar New Year, which starts on Feb. 16, and will feature a line of holiday-themed felines to commemorate the occasion. The report also says that it will be called 迷恋猫 (mi lian mao), which roughly translates to “Cat Obsession.”

To avoid regulatory issues associated with China’s ban on cryptocurrency exchanges, the app will not tell users how to exchange Ethereum for fiat currencies.

If CryptoKitties proves to be as popular in China as it is elsewhere, it could once again lead to significant congestion on the Ethereum network, causing the platform’s scaling problem to once again rear its head.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Josiah is a full-time journalist at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.