- Google is developing its own blockchain-based technology to support its cloud business, sources told Bloomberg Technology. The distributed digital ledger could be used by third parties to post and verify transactions, and the company plans to offer a white-label version of the product that other companies can run on their own servers.
- To create its blockchain ledger, Google examined technology from the Hyperledger consortium, the sources said. However, Google could choose another format that would make running millions of transactions more streamlined.
- Google began a trial for developers testing blockchain on its cloud in 2016. It's also backed and acquired startups working on the technology. Parent comapny Alphabet's venture capital group GV has invested in a range of wallet service providers, financial transaction networks and similar companies, including Blockchain Luxembourg, Ripple, LedgerX and Veem, per Bloomberg.
Google testing a blockchain-related tool is perhaps unsurprising but signals that the technology is not only here to stay, but will also potentially see a considerable ramp-up in adoption with businesses in the coming months and years. Google, which is the world's largest digital advertising platform, has frequently helped bring new digital products to the mainstream, so rolling out a distributed ledger service that's accessible to third parties could continue that streak. Blockchain presents some challenges for Google, however, as its typically run on distributed networks of computers rather than a central hub, which is how the company currently handles much of its information.
Rivals IBM and Microsoft also have an early lead in blockchain-based tools that allow companies to experiment with digital ledgers using their cloud services, per Bloomberg. The blockchain market for products and services is projected to grow from $706 million in 2017 to $60 billion by 2024, according to WinterGreen Research cited in the report. Marketing firms are also experimenting with blockchain's potential for digital ad buying.
The IAB Tech Lab recently launched a Blockchain Working Group to investigate various applications of the technology and to establish standards and best practices for the digital ad industry. The group will collect feedback from different industry players as it examines areas including ad fraud, measurement, discrepancy reconciliation for billing purposes, financial transactions and validation for advertising resources and assets. Several major brands are embracing blockchain as well, for everything from managing supply chains to marketing stunts, including Amazon, Walmart, Unilever, Overstock.com and Debeers.