What Does Google Use Blockchain For?


Google is one of the big tech giants – how is it taking advantage of decentralization?


Big Tech companies has been increasingly paying attention to developments in the blockchain space. The backing of a household name like Google could push blockchain into the mainstream, but there is still room for improvement: both from blockchain developers and well-known legacy companies.


Google’s Initial Cautious Approach

In June 2019, Google published a blog post implying that it sees benefits in combining distributed ledgers with modern internet resources and public cloud services.


This innovative hybrid cloud-blockchain approach has surprised many. Since Google had leveraged Ethereum (ETH) for this purpose, it was clear that the company had studied the technology seriously. It was a step toward making public blockchain data freely available through Google Cloud, which has been available for many years.


The interoperability between Ethereum smart contracts and Google’s enterprise cloud data warehouse, with the help of Chainlink (LINK) oracles, demonstrates the technology’s potential. Additionally, it highlights the prospect of using Chainlink services to provide on-chain data in order to reduce inefficiencies and introduce new capabilities.



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Google Cloud and Theta Labs

Google’s engagement with blockchain technology took an intriguing turn in early 2020, when Google Cloud partnered with the decentralized video streaming platform Theta Labs. Initially, it seemed like a small-scale partnership, but the ambition of the partnership became apparent when it transpired that any Google Cloud user could deploy Theta’s blockchain network to experiment with the technology.


As part of this agreement, Google Cloud set up a Theta Network (THETA) validator node to support users across Europe. Since then, Google Cloud became an essential part of the Theta ecosystem. Additionally, Theta’s network became the seventh blockchain to make its data widely available through Google’s public dataset program.


Investment in Blockchain.com

In early 2021, Google Ventures, the tech giant’s investment arm, became one of the investors in Blockchain.com’s $120 million financing. Given the breadth of Blockchain.com’s activities, which offers both Bitcoin (BTC) wallet services and a block explorer, Google’s financial backing of the company received significant attention.


Having taken the next step and becoming an investor in a major blockchain company, Google Cloud’s initial interest in public blockchains and distributed ledger technology remained unchanged. Through its multiple collaborations with EOS, Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), and others, Google confirmed that it remained keen to host network nodes on Google Cloud. This capability is still available to developers today as Google Cloud continues to support multiple blockchain networks.


Over the years, Google Cloud has partnered with multiple blockchain providers. The main goal remains the same: to allow users to run blockchain nodes over Google Cloud. It is a bid to stay competitive with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, two providers that also make it easy for users to operate blockchain nodes with minimal effort.



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Google Explores NFTs and Flow

Google has recently partnered with Dapper Labs, a Canadian blockchain studio that develops Web 3.0 products and services. One of its flagship concepts is a non-fungible-token (NFT) marketplace.


Under the terms of the multi-year partnership, Google Cloud has committed to serve as a network operator for Dapper Labs’ Flow (FLOW) blockchain, which powers a broader ecosystem of NFTs, games and apps. Google will also provide a secure infrastructure for Dapper to continue to expand. Popular NFT projects on Flow currently include NBA Top Shot and CryptoKitties.


Additionally, the Flow blockchain is accessible through Google Cloud, making the integration of Flow and Google software much more convenient.


Google’s Blockchain Education Efforts

One interesting venture for Google is the company’s decision to compile a “bundle” for blockchain developers. Using Google DevOps and the Blockchain Developer Bundle, users can evolve from newbie to expert relatively quickly.


For example, a developer can use Google’s courses to take the Blockchain Training Alliance Certified Blockchain Solutions Architect exam. Additionally, there is an exam for “Certified Blockchain Developer – Hyperledger,” which students can complete and get certified. For some developers, certification is the first step toward building a career in the blockchain industry.



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Will Google Ever Use Blockchain In Its Services?

To date, Google has not made it clear that it plans to build its own solutions using blockchain technology. Doing so would go against the company’s business model, which aims to centralize as much data as possible. This doesn’t mean Google may not be experimenting with the technology in specific ways, yet public information on its future plans remains limited.


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