New evidence has surfaced that Google is considering taking blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies, more seriously.
The search-giant is exploring the use of blockchain technology for its cloud business and “developing its own distributed digital ledger that third parties can use to post and verify transactions,” people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, the tech giant’s senior VP of advertising and commerce, said Wednesday the company is working on research projects to find out if it can incorporate blockchain technology into its own line of products.
However, speaking at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London, the Google executive downplayed any specific speculation, saying “it is super early for us to say whether they are going to become products just yet. We don’t have really any product announcements to make on this front.”
“This is a research topic, so I don’t have anything super-definitive to say. We have a small team that is looking at it. The core blockchain technology is not something that is super-scalable in terms of the sheer number of transactions it can run,” he added.
Ramaswamy stated the company is indeed pondering how it can make use of the ”frictionless” nature of the technology, which also has applications in money transfer.
“The promise of blockchain of course is twofold: one is friction-free value transfer, you can think of it as money transfer working at scale with no friction and that can have an amazing effect on society, because it’s hard to move money. It always costs 2ish percent in most Western countries to move money,” he said.
Google last week took a far less cryptocurrency-friendly approach, when it announced it will block ads promoting cryptocurrencies and ICOs on its own platforms and third-party websites, effective June. The move comes after a similar announcement by social media giant Facebook in January.
Despite this announcement, Google has been the second most active corporate blockchain investor since 2012, with involvement in six companies focused on the blockchain technology, according to a report by tech researcher CB Insights.