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Google Joins Blockchain Bandwagon

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Google is reportedly looking into using blockchain technology, in a bid to improve its own online services and internal operations.

Blockchain has increasingly become a talking point in the technology industry and verticals, with many suggesting it could help to boost security significantly as it can record transactions and process other data over the internet. Major technology companies like IBM, and financial services companies have already been working significantly on their own distributed ledgers, and now Google wants a piece of this new market.

A Differential for Google

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the internet search and technology giant Google would work on a blockchain service to reassure customers that their information is protected when stored on its gigantic network of servers that power its cloud services. With data privacy at the forefront of the news as a result of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytia saga, and with major data breaches and hacks of cloud services such as Apple’s iCloud in years gone by, Google will be hoping that it isn’t the victim, or the main focus of a new security story, by using blockchain technology.

The company is developed its own digital ledger that third parties can use to post and verify transactions, the source said, and while the timing of the product release is not yet clear, the company plans to use the new technology as a differential, to attract customers to use its services rather than its rivals. It will also license the technology to other companies, so that they can run on their own servers, the source suggested.

Already a Tough Competition

To get up to speed in the area, Google has been acquiring and investing in start-ups with expertise in the digital ledger area, with many of the deals not public. However, parent company Alphabet is known to be one of the most active investors in blockchain companies – at least according to a report by CB Insights.

As well as IBM, Google’s cloud rivals Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have also been investing in distributed ledger technology. Last month, Microsoft revealed it would use blockchain for access and identity management, as well as helping to manage personal data more effectively. It is currently piloting the Microsoft Authenticator app, while is already offers a Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-Service on Azure.

Meanwhile AWS made its blockchain intentions clear last December with its partners program. The company said the initiative would support customer integration of blockchain solutions with systems built on AWS.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.