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article imageGoogle building its own blockchain-based cloud technology

By James Walker     Mar 23, 2018 in Technology
Google is developing its own blockchain-like technology to improve its cloud by adding digital ledger capabilities. Google's parent company, Alphabet, has built its own distributed ledger system which can be used to log and verify digital transactions.
According to a Bloomberg report, Google is experimenting with "blockchain-related" technology as a way to distinguish its cloud network in the increasingly competitive market. Rivals such as Microsoft and IBM are already heavily investing in blockchain research. There are also numerous cloud startups which are using digital ledgers and smart contracts to power new transactional systems.
Bloomberg didn't publish any details of Google's specific implementation. The ledger is said to be "blockchain-like" and accessible to third-parties. Google will release a white-labelled on-premises version for companies and developers to use on their own servers.
Google is said to have investigated technology created by the Hyperledger consortium as a possible way to power the ledger. However, it's also looking at other kinds of transactional mechanisms more suitable for use at massive scale. The research suggests Google wants to create a distributed ledger system that's capable of spanning its entire cloud network.
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Blockchain could augment Google's cloud in several ways. One obvious advantage concerns information integrity and security. By allowing cloud users to record information in a ledger format, they'd be able to independently verify that transactions are genuine.
The technology could also make Google's cloud more attractive to enterprises that are building new blockchain solutions to improve collaboration and efficiency in industry. Google's decision to develop a self-hosted variant of the technology suggests the blockchain could be adaptable to specific workloads.
Transportation companies may use the blockchain to streamline delivery networks, while financial services firms use a tailored implementation to accelerate cross-border transactions. Google insiders told Bloomberg that its cloud is a "natural place" for blockchain-related services.
Google already has a string of commitments to blockchain tech through investments in digital ledger startups, with CBInsights identifying the company as the second most active corporate investor in blockchain tech over the past five years. Google has also acquired several blockchain startups which could assist it in developing its new in-house solution.
Publicly, Google's not yet ready to share any details on the project and there's no indication of when it will be ready to launch. The company confirmed that it has teams "exploring potential uses of blockchain" but declined to comment on its specific plans.
More about Google, blockchain, Cloud, Cloud computing, smart contracts
 
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