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Google's New Blockchain Unit Will Also Focus on Distributed Computing and Data Storage

January 26, 2022

Google is getting in on the blockchain game with the creation of a new unit dedicated to blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies. The news was revealed in a leaked email obtained by Bloomberg.

According to the email, the new blockchain unit will be part of Google's Labs division, which is also fairly new, and acts as the center for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) research. Google veteran Shivakumar Venkataraman, an engineering vice president, will lead the new unit.

Google has been somewhat reticent when it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain, with the company banning ads for cryptocurrency wallets from its advertising network until August of 2021. Google will not accept crypto payments for products and services either.

Signs of change and a move toward acceptance of blockchain and crypto began in April of 2021, when Google Pay announced a partnership with Gemini enabling the crypto exchange's users to purchase Bitcoin through Google Pay using fiat currency via a debit or credit card. Google went on to partner with Coinbase in June, enabling its customers to use their Coinbase ZCard to pay for goods and services through Google Pay. The partnership also gives users a change to earn crypto rebates of up to four percent.

In October, Google went on to partner with Bakkt, enabling that crypto platform's customers to purchase goods and services via select cryptocurrencies through their Google Pay wallets. Last week, when discussing future plans for Google Pay, Bill Ready, president of commerce for Google, told Bloomberg the company plans to team up with providers of "a wider range of financial services, including cryptocurrencies."

"Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to," said Ready. "As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it."

Google also recently announced the hiring of Arnold Goldberg, a former Paypal executive, as part of a push to include new services in its platform, including cryptocurrencies.

Edited by Luke Bellos

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