Google confirms entry into blockchain technology with new cloud partnerships

Google has confirmed it will be supporting blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) on its Cloud Platform (GCP), with more details expected at its Next ‘18 conference in San Francisco today (July 24).

In an announcement regarding the event, Google said that customers can now explore ways they might use DLT frameworks on the platform with launch partners including Digital Asset and BlockApps, with open-source integrations for Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum available later this year in GCP Marketplace.

Google has said more information will be revealed in a designated ‘DLT partnerships of Google Cloud’ session at Next, where it will introduce its partners and “share how you can get started building DLT solutions for enterprise use cases on GCP today.”

Both partners based in New York, Digital Asset is a provider of DLT software for the financial services industry, while the BlockApps STRATO platform allows for rapid-deployment blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions for enterprises across any sector.

In a blog post announcing the new partnership, BlockApps said Google’s entrance into the blockchain space was “a landmark event” for the technology’s growing ecosystem, which “cements the continued investment in blockchain solutions for enterprises”.

In a statement of its own, Digital Asset’s CEO, Blythe Masters, said its partnership with GCP would provide developers a “full-stack solution so they can unleash the potential for web-paced innovation in blockchain”.

“This will reduce the technical barriers to DLT application development by delivering our advanced distributed ledger platform and modeling language to Google Cloud,” he added.

The partnerships haven’t come completely out of the blue; Bloomberg reported earlier in the year that Google had been quietly acquiring and investing in startups with expertise in digital ledgers, while parent Alphabet was a leading corporate investor in the technology last year, ahead of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, according to research firm CB Insights.

In the same report, it was suggested that Google’s entry into blockchain-related technology would indeed be to support its cloud business as well as “head off competition” from emerging startups that use the “heavily-hyped technology” to operate online in new ways.

A report by The Verge, meanwhile, suggested the partnerships would give the ad tech giant’s cloud services “an edge” on close rivals Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, which currently hold more market share than GCP.


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