Google Cloud Launches Blockchain Team

Google Cloud recently announced the formation of a new Digital Assets Team for blockchain technology, comparing its rise to that of open source and the internet. Those would seem to be heady comparisons for a fledgling technology still not well understood by many, but the perennial No. 3 cloud computing provider is making a big blockchain bet to help catch up to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

As part of the move, Google also said it's exploring opportunities to let cloud customers make and receive payments using cryptocurrencies, the primary use case for blockchain so far.

Google's move is in stark contrast to Azure, as Microsoft last year ended the Azure Blockchain service and advised users to migrate to other blockchain offerings. No reason was given.

The GCP apparently has a different take on the tech.

"Blockchain technology is yielding tremendous innovation and value creation for consumers and businesses around the world," Google said in a Jan. 27 blog post. "As the technology becomes more mainstream, companies need scalable, secure and sustainable infrastructure on which to grow their businesses and support their networks. We believe Google Cloud can play an important role in this evolution."

The platform's new dedicated Digital Assets Team will help customers in building, transacting, storing value and deploying new products on blockchain-based platforms, the company said.

The team intends to tackle a bunch of short- and long-term initiatives, including:

  • Providing dedicated node hosting/remote procedure call (RPC) nodes for developers, allowing users to deploy blockchain validators on Google Cloud via a single click ("click to deploy").
  • Participating in node validation and on-chain governance with select partners.
  • Helping developers and users host their nodes on the cleanest cloud in the industry, supporting their environmental, social and governance initiatives.
  • Supporting on-chain governance via participation from Google Cloud executives and senior engineers.
  • Hosting several public BigQuery datasets on our Marketplace, including full blockchain transaction history for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, Zcash, Theta, Hedera Hashgraph, Band Protocol, Polygon, XRP and Dogecoin.
  • Driving co-development and integration into Google's robust partner ecosystem, including participating in the Google Cloud Marketplace.
  • Embracing joint go-to-market initiatives with our ecosystem partners where Google Cloud can be the connective tissue between traditional enterprise and blockchain technologies.

"Blockchains and digital assets are changing the way the world stores and moves its information -- as well as value," Google said. "As an infrastructure provider, Google Cloud views the evolution of blockchain technology and decentralized networks today as analogous to the rise of open source and the internet 10-15 years ago. Just as open source developments were integral to the early days of the internet, blockchain is yielding innovation and value creation for consumers and businesses. As the technology becomes more mainstream, companies will need scalable, secure infrastructure on which to grow their businesses and support their networks."

While Microsoft and Google Cloud have seemingly adopted somewhat opposite approaches to blockchain tech on their respective cloud computing platforms, perennial No. 1 provider AWS just keeps humming along with its offering, as Virtualization & Cloud Review writer Brien Posey explained in his AWS/blockchain series last year.

"Over the past few years, blockchain has rapidly gained popularity because of its ability to store transactions in an immutable format. Amazon makes it really easy to create your own blockchain ledger within the AWS console," he explained in the opening article to the series: "Getting Started with Blockchain on AWS, Part 1: Creating and Configuring a Ledger."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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