Google Partners With Coinbase: Experts See It as ‘Just a First Step’

Google announced that it partnered with Coinbase to enable select customers to pay for its cloud services with several cryptocurrencies through Coinbase Commerce, in an effort “to accelerate Web3 adoption and innovation.”

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Coinbase Commerce is a platform that helps merchants — including Alo Yoga, Anheuser Busch and WeWork — accept cryptocurrency payments. Coinbase Commerce supports 10 currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, Tether USD, ApeCoin, Bitcoin Cash, DAI, Dogecoin, Litecoin and Shiba Inu, according to its website.

“What inspired us the most was seeing that the Google Cloud team recognizes the importance of expanding crypto services and building in Web3,” Surojit Chatterjee, chief product officer at Coinbase, said in a statement.

Google will enable additional customers to make crypto payments over time, Amit Zavery, vice president and head of platform at Google Cloud, told CNBC.

‘Just a First Step for Something Bigger’

“It may be surprising to some that a tech giant like Google wants to partner with Coinbase regarding the emergent Web3 space, but I think participants in the digital asset community knew it was only a matter of time before something like this happened,” said Mahesh Vellanki, managing partner at SuperLayer. “And of course, we are now anticipating what the next level of integration by Google into the digital asset space will be — because, after all, enabling payments using crypto assets feels like just a first step for something bigger.

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“There are many, many possibilities as to where Google could go next, from serving as a validator to perhaps even building a new form of cloud storage that operates on blockchain rails. This is only speculation, of course, but there are many possibilities here, and it’s fun to game them out.”

In addition, as part of the deal, Web3 developers will have access to Google Cloud’s blockchain data through BigQuery.

Google also will use Coinbase Prime for institutional crypto services, such as secure custody and reporting, and Coinbase selected Google Cloud as a strategic cloud provider to build advanced exchange and data services, according to the announcement.

Zavery told CNBC that Google looked at other companies for the payment portion of the deal but chose Coinbase because it “had the greatest capability.”

“In a sense, I’m not surprised that this partnership between Coinbase and Google is happening,” said Yaoqi Jia, founder and CEO of AltLayer. “The more that the large tech firms get involved in the Web3 space, the faster this technology will progress in terms of attracting users and in turn building out high-performance use cases. I know that initially this partnership focuses on payments, but I would be shocked if there were no other ideas in the pipeline for integrating Google’s network and services with blockchain platforms and other related protocols.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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