Google working towards using blockchain technology

The search and storage giant is apparently moving towards using distributed ledgers, potentially in a security application, according to sources.

Google is apparently working on its own blockchain-related technology, according to reports today. It is doing so in order to bolster its cloud-related projects, and challenge emerging startups moving into its market areas.

According to those legendary “people familiar with the situation” so beloved of news journos, Alphabet Inc. – Google’s parent corporation – has a unit developing its own distributed ledger to allow third parties to verify transactions. One potential application cited in the article is that this could be used to “reassure customers that their information is protected when stored on the giant network of computer servers that power its cloud services”.

Bloomberg’s source for its story offers no timescale for the application of this new tech, but the article does assert that Google will use it to differentiate their service from competitors, and provide a white-label application of the tech that companies can use on their own servers. They also said that Alphabet had been on a bit of a spending spree acquiring and investing in startups with expertise in the area – with many of the deals were still under wraps

For a company in its market sector as big as Alphabet has become, it would probably be more surprising to find an article saying it wasn’t investigating the possibilities of blockchain. However, for Alphabet Inc. to be so far along a project, and apparently investing so much, while keeping it under wraps makes this extremely intriguing.

Google, of course, has been one of the big success stories of the centralised computing model that blockchain takes aim at – storing all of the massive amounts of data we hand over to it in massive server and storage facilities. It’s unlikely that central model for how it does its business will change any time soon, rather that the tech will be employed as a security measure from within Google’s own server eco-system.