After experiencing growth in retail, medical, and other industries, Google’s cloud division has formed a new team to build a business around blockchain applications. Analysts said the move, if successful, would help Google further diversify beyond its advertising business. This will also further strengthen its position in the growing market for computing and storage services.
Blockchain advocates often speak of building “decentralized” applications that exclude large intermediaries. Taking Defi (Decentralized Finance) as an example, it aims to remove middlemen such as banks from traditional financial transactions. With Defi, banks and lawyers are replaced by so-called “smart contracts”. This contract is written on a public blockchain, and when certain conditions are met, it executes, eliminating the need for an intermediary.
This idea of ”decentralized” applications has become more popular among technologists, who envision Web 3 as a decentralized version of the Internet, separate from Web 2.0.
Currently, Amazon, Google, and other cloud computing providers operate vast facilities to provide computing services to millions of customers, which represents a kind of centralization. However, this is not stopping Google from trying to capitalize on the opportunity.
Richard Widmann, head of digital asset strategy for Google’s cloud division, said today that the division plans to hire a group of employees with blockchain expertise. “We think if done well, it will drive decentralization,” he said.
Google to penetrate the blockchain space
Google’s cloud marketplace already offers tools that developers can use to build blockchain networks. Also, Google has some blockchain clients, including Dapper Labs, Hedera, Theta Labs, and some digital exchanges. In addition, Google provides datasets that people can browse using the BigQuery service. They can use this technology to view transaction history for Bitcoin and other currencies.
Now, Widman said that Google is considering offering certain types of services directly to developers in the blockchain space. “There are things we can do to reduce some of the problems some customers have in paying for cloud services with cryptocurrencies,” he said. Foundations and other entities that develop in the digital asset space primarily capitalize on cryptocurrencies.
Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian, has identified retail, healthcare, and three other industries as target areas. As customers in these areas choose to embrace blockchain technology, Google can help, Wiedemann said.