(Photo: Traxer/Unsplash)At the start of its annual Cloud Next conference on Tuesday, Google announced that it would begin allowing select customers to pay for cloud services using cryptocurrency in 2023. Google will facilitate this update through a partnership with Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform. As part of the deal, Coinbase will use Google Cloud’s computing power to process blockchain records at scale. Coinbase will also leverage Google’s machine-learning capabilities to provide customers with key insights regarding crypto trends. Over time, the platform will gradually transition its data from Amazon Web Services to Google Cloud after several years of using the former.
Google, meanwhile, will use Coinbase Commerce to trade and store cryptocurrencies, allowing some Cloud customers to pay for services in select tokens. At an undisclosed point in the future, Google will use Coinbase Prime (the brand’s premium offline crypto storage) for secure custody and reporting. Coinbase will take a cut of each crypto transaction behind the scenes. Neither Google nor Coinbase specified which cryptocurrencies would be accepted, but Coinbase Commerce typically helps businesses accept and convert major tokens such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, and Tether USD.
As for who will be eligible to pay in crypto next year, that’s unclear as well. In an interview with CNBC, Google Cloud VP and head of platform Amit Zavery vaguely said the service “will initially accept cryptocurrency payments from a handful of customers in the Web3 world who want to pay with cryptocurrency.” Whether this “handful” will be randomly selected or carefully picked based on internally-recognized criteria is uncertain.
The partnership is one of many recent moves by Google to invest in the crypto space. Earlier this year, research firm Blockdata revealed that Google’s parent company Alphabet had invested more in blockchain companies than any other corporate entity between September 2021 and June 2022. On its own, this isn’t particularly interesting. Tech companies like Samsung, PayPal, and Microsoft followed closely behind, all likely for the same basic reason: to improve their own offerings. (As Google has obviously decided, it can be convenient to dip into a digital wallet to pay for digital services.)
But the blockchain has been having a notably difficult time as of late, with the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, down 59 percent for the year. Not only are cryptocurrencies not immune to the woes plaguing the rest of the fiscal world, but they’re still largely speculative, leaving them open to macroeconomic forces, said a Cornell University economics professor in an interview with NPR. Combine that with unique circumstances like Ethereum’s recent switch to the less environmentally impactful proof-of-stake (a move that has brought the coin’s price down 65 percent) and you have a bit of a volatile system on your hands.
Despite that, Google appears to be all-in. It’s a bold strategy—let’s see if it pays off.
Source by www.extremetech.com