Monday, December 4

Sundar Pichai pegs Google’s Web3 ambitions to the cloud

  • Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has no plans to be left behind in the race for Web3.
  • CEO Sundar Pichai explained that Google’s Cloud team is looking at how new products can be deployed on block-based platforms.
  • Pichai’s comments come less than a month after reports of Google forming a team dedicated to blockchain and its related technologies.

Joining the Web3 narrative alongside Facebook, tech giant Google is “definitely” looking at blockchain. According to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the company’s cloud team is looking at how new products can be deployed on a blockchain-based platform.

On Web3, we are definitely looking at blockchain and such an interesting and powerful technology with broad applications, so much broader again in any one application.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call

Google’s interest spans from augmented reality (AR) to the cloud. And, not unlike Facebook, it’s hoping that AR will find use cases within applications like Maps, Youtube, google-meet and others.

Just one example, our Cloud team is looking at how they can support our customers’ needs in building, transacting, storing value and deploying new products on blockchain-based platforms.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call

Google’s rumored blockchain plans

In the week before the earnings call, Richard Widmann, head of strategy for digital assets at Google’s Cloud division had announced plans to hire people with block chain expertise, “We think that if we do our jobs right, it will drive decentralization,” Widmann said at the time.

Google Cloud is targeting customers beginning to adopt blockchain technologies in five target areas – retail, healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment and manufacturing. Blockchain developers can already use a few tools available on the Google Cloud Marketplace.

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Last month, Google had reportedly formed a blockchain group under Shivakumar Venkataraman to focus on “blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies.”

Google may be a little late to the party

According to data compiled by Ark Invest, an investment management firm, the Web3 and the metaverse are a $1 trillion dollar opportunity, explaining the pivot by the largest tech firms.

Jack Dorsey’s Square and Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook rebranded to Block and Meta, respectively. Meanwhile, Amazon had launched its Managed Blockchain service back in 2018. Even Microsoft introduced its Azure Blockchain Service in 2019 but it’s another story that it had to shut it down in 2021.

However, it should be noted that backing blockchain technology and Web3 are two very different things. Dorsey, for instance, touts himself to be a Bitcoin maximalist but, when it comes to Web3, he has very strong opinions on whether such a construct can exist given the agenda of venture capitalists.

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