Google’s Cloud division is developing blockchain technologies meant to support its growing business, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing people familiar with the company’s efforts. One particular solution that Alphabet’s subsidiary is presently said to be pursuing is a digital ledger for verifying third-party transactions, a classic application of blockchain which served as a basis for various cryptocurrencies that emerged over the last decade, including Bitcoin. The platform is understood to be in development as an extension of the Google Cloud portfolio of services that will be offered to the tech giant’s clients and its existence likely doesn’t indicate Google is interested in launching its own cryptocurrency.
While Google Cloud’s main competitors — Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services — have already been exploring blockchain applications for some time now but none of them offer them as a core part of their hosting lineups. The Mountain View, California-based firm may hence see an opening that would allow it to differentiate itself from its rivals, which has been one of its main focus points in recent years. Just yesterday, Google Cloud debuted a wide variety of new security features meant to illustrate how the platform is seeking to beat its competitors through innovation. From a practical perspective, a blockchain-powered solution would be unlikely to significantly alter the user experience of Google Cloud clients but would provide them with additional assurances in regards to the level of protection they can expect applied to their sensitive data.
It’s presently unclear when Google may officially announce such a technology, though the current project reportedly encompasses two main variants of the platform, a Google-branded system and a white-label one meant to be made available for rebranding by other companies. Google is said to have been seeking outside expertise to fuel its blockchain ambitions in recent years, primarily through acquisitions which remain largely unannounced. The firm has already been maintaining a testing cloud environment allowing third parties to run blockchain technologies on its infrastructure since 2016. The company previously confirmed it’s internally experimenting with blockchain applications but has yet to indicate it’s prepared for entering the emerging segment with a commercial product in any capacity.