Google embracing blockchain technology

Google is reportedly looking into using blockchain technology to boost the search engine giant’s cloud business, according to sources familiar with the matter at Bloomberg.

Blockchain is a technology that helps keep record of online transactions in a distributed, decentralized way using a public ledger. It originally came to prominence as a way to power the digital currency Bitcoin. The potential of blockchain isn’t limited to cryptocurrencies, however. The technology taps into a variety of use cases, from securing patient medical records to enabling smart contracts.

Google hopes to differentiate itself against competitors in the cloud computing market with the technology; although, it is unsure how the company exactly plans to leverage blockchain. The company could use blockchain to help assure its customers their data is safe. Google may license the technology to other firms as well.

Bloomberg also noted the Alphabet Inc. unit is developing its own distributed ledger, which would enable third parties to post and verify transactions. Alphabet is Google’s parent company. It has also reportedly invested in a number of startups focused on blockchain technology. Although, the bulk of these deals have been kept under wraps. According to a report published by CB Insights, Alphabet is one of the most active investors in blockchain companies.

Google isn’t the only major tech company investing in blockchain technology, however. Microsoft, for example, unveiled plans last month to use blockchain as a way to address challenges of managing identities and personal data digitally, beginning with an experiment with the Microsoft Authenticator app. The company also offers a Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-Service on Azure.

Other competitors like IBM have been focusing their attention on blockchain technology as well. Just last week, for example, the company announced what it claims to be the world’s smallest computer for blockchain technology at IBM Think 2018. According to IBM, the chip can integrate with “several hundred thousand transistors” and will be used to serve as a data source for blockchain applications.

Moreover, Amazon Web Services (AWS) finally jumped on board the blockchain bandwagon last December with its partner ecosystem program. According to the company, the AWS Blockchain Partners program supports customer integration of blockchain solutions with systems built on AWS. Among the Blockchain Partner Solutions available as one-click deploy include Sawtooth Supply Chain, Sawtooth 1.0, R3 Corda, PokitDok and Blockapps Strato.

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