Blockchains, cryptocurrency, and the technology behind it are all things that Google has already 'failed' to embrace at the bleeding edge, according to co-founder and Alphabet President Sergey Brin. However, that doesn't mean the company is not thinking of ways that it could bring those to consumers on an accessible level with expanding usages. Speaking at the 2018 Blockchain Summit in Morocco, Brin said that the underlying use of asymmetric cryptography – both public-key and private-key cryptography – has serious implications for the world in general. Not least among those is the way it will impact the understanding and use of identifying metrics. Brin says that identity has grown with the internet to encompass nearly every aspect of a person but that the information is really segmented into groups depending on where that information is needed.
For purchases or car rentals, he says, the really important information is whether or not an individual is trustworthy, knows how to drive, and can pay their bill. That's something other panelists were keen to back up, pointing to situations where age identification is important and where a user ordinarily would need to provide a birthdate to a company or another individual. With blockchain, the information would be verifiable without ever giving away a birthdate and that example extends well beyond that specific scenario. Another example Brin provided was in the use of blockchain to separate out the types of information that governments would need to have access to as compared to other entities. The executive says that even he finds the idea of "big brother" always watching to be "creepy." Blockchain may provide a way to begin addressing that and other problems over the next few years.
With that said, both Brin and other panelists pointed out that Google hasn't always been on the leading end of technologies anyway. Rather, with products like search or email, the organization has led in terms of following quickly and advancing to make things accessible for everybody. The blockchain is hugely complicated at the technical level. In fact, Brin himself says that he only recently began mining cryptocurrencies after one of his children insisted on buying a gaming PC and that he doesn't fully understand the maths behind it. Regardless, Google does plan on leading the technology away from what Brin refers to as its status as a kind of enterprise level 'toy' and its use in research applications.