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Google Makes U-Turn in Blockchain Adoption: From Blocking Ads to Accepting Crypto Payments

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • Google will use Coinbase Commerce to accept payments from select clientele in cryptocurrencies.
  • Coinbase will use Google's cloud to help it scale its exchange business.
  • This partnership is a radical departure from the anti-crypto stance once adopted by Google.
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Coinbase’s Commerce product will enable specific Google Cloud customers to pay for cloud services using several cryptocurrencies.

Web3 developers will also be able to access Google’s public blockchain datasets through Coinbase’s recently announced Cloud Node technology stack. Coinbase will also provide Google with institutional-grade custodial and trading services through Coinbase Prime.

Google Cloud to help Coinbase build advanced services

According to a press release, Coinbase will leverage the machine learning prowess of Google’s compute engine and fiber-optic infrastructure to provide an ever-expanding customer base with trading insights powered by big data analytics. Google holds the transaction histories of the Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, Hedera Hashgraph, and Dogecoin blockchains, which are accessible from a multi-cloud data warehouse called BigQuery.

Coinbase will also use Google’s services to help it build its exchange services and move specific Commerce-related applications from Amazon Web Services to Google.

“We could not ask for a better partner to help execute our vision of building a trusted bridge into the Web3 ecosystem,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

Google is no stranger to providing scalable cloud infrastructure to Web3 companies. Dapper Labs, the company behind the famous NFT collection NBA Top Shot, brought Google on board in 2021 as the cloud provider for its growing ecosystem of products that live on the Flow blockchain.

The Hedera network, which recently onboarded the U.K. asset management firm Abrdn onto its Governing Council, uses Google’s premium, low-latency fiber optic network to ensure stability and maximum uptime of the Hedera distributed ledger. Hedera also uses Google cloud for its public testnets.

While there has been no indication which cryptocurrencies Google will accept, a peek at Coinbase Commerce’s website reveals that the platform supports payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, USDT, ApeCoin, Bitcoin Cash, DAI, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Shiba Inu. Amounts received in crypto are deposited into the merchant’s account, from which it can withdraw and the funds converted to fiat.

Google’s acceptance of crypto marks an about-face

Google’s acceptance of crypto payments is a significant step in advancing its adoption of cryptocurrencies and Web3 technologies. Initially, the company was reluctant to give the crypto industry real estate on its platform. 

In June 2018, it banned advertisements for initial coin offerings, crypto wallets, and crypto exchanges, citing significant consumer harm.

In a July 2022 policy revision, the company maintained that any business that allows for exchanging, purchasing, or holding crypto was not allowed to advertise on Google. This ban included advertisements for businesses offering crypto payments and crypto mining hardware. Crypto exchanges and wallet advertisements are allowed, subject to compliance with local laws.

The company also said that advertisements for crypto exchanges are allowed in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and Hong Kong. In contrast, advertisements for exchanges and wallets are permitted in Israel, Japan, the United States, France, Germany, the Philippines, and South Korea, all subject to Google certification. 

Following the announcement of its partnership with Coinbase, Coinbase’s stock price rose 4% and is now touching the $70 mark.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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