Google is reportedly working on its own blockchain technology. The Alphabet division will use blockchain technology to support its cloud business while fighting off competition from emerging blockchain startups.
The news was reported by Bloomberg, which cited “people familiar with the situation” when it published its report this past week.
Company insiders reportedly claim that Google’s cloud services would make a perfect match for blockchain technology. Companies have traditionally used blockchain to securely record transactions and other data processes over the internet. Google could use similar functionality to reassure customers that their data is protected when its held in the company’s cloud storage system.
The report claims that Alphabet’s distributed ledger technology – their blockchain – will be used to post and verify transactions.
There’s no information about the release date for Google’s blockchain. However, the company reportedly plans to offer the blockchain service to differentiate its cloud storage service from rivals.
Google will also provide a white-label version of the platform that other companies can run on their own servers.
It’s not really a secret that Google is interested in blockchain technology. Since last year, the company has been acquiring and investing in startups related to the blockchain space – at least, according to Bloomberg’s sources. Many of these deals have not yet been announced. However, even publicly, Google “was a leading corporate investor in the field last year”, ahead of companies like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, according to a report from CB Insights.
Google, meanwhile, isn’t revealing much about its future blockchain goals, although they did confirm they’re exploring the use of blockchain in at least some way:
“Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain but it’s way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans,” said a Google spokesperson to Bloomberg.
In 2016, Google started a trial for developers testing blockchain services on its cloud. Now, Google is reportedly testing ways to deploy that technology in more expansive ways, offering developers a wider range of blockchain development opportunities.
To date, tech giants like IBM and Microsoft have led the charge into blockchain technology, accounting for 32% and 19% of global blockchain spending, respectively, according to data from WinterGreen Research Inc.
Amazon.com, meanwhile, helps companies build blockchain applications, and Facebook has hinted that its exploring the use of cryptocurrencies, encryption, and other distributed ledger technologies.
Also nipping at Google’s heels are a slew of blockchain-based startups seeking to disrupt Google’s market share in a number of different areas. Brave, for example, aims to use blockchain technology to pay users in exchange for viewing advertisements. The Brave browser could grow to replace Chrome – which also provides targeted advertisements to users but doesn’t reward users for viewing ads. Other projects use protocols like IPFS to distribute data worldwide, creating a cheaper, decentralized file storage system that doesn’t require trust in a centralized provider like Google.
Ultimately, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Google is exploring the use of blockchain technology. However, it remains to be seen how Google will implement blockchain technology into its network of services.