Alphabet: From investment to R & D and application, Google blockchain is catching up

Author: Sumiko

Source: 01 Blockchain

Relying on the search and advertising business, Google ("Google" in this article refers to the reorganized parent company Alphabet [1] of the original search giant Google) has been in the "dominant position" in the Internet field. The latest data shows that Google has a global search engine share of 93 %. Over the years, many large and small companies have tried to challenge Google's position in the search market.The decentralized nature of blockchain technology has also made many people dream of being able to subvert Internet giants including Google. The monopoly of the market, however, has yet to see success.

As a company labeled with AI + cloud computing, Google's sensitivity in technology has always been at the forefront of the industry.Although the current advancement in the blockchain field has lagged behind, its performance on the blockchain since 2018 France has also shifted its focus from previous investments to R & D and application of overweight technology. Entering 2019, actions in the blockchain field are more frequent. As a technology giant, Google is naturally unwilling to lag behind other competitors in an emerging technology, not to mention that blockchain technology is placed in high hopes in realizing the "leapfrogging" of its industry status in the field of cloud computing.

I. The preliminary layout is mainly investment, and digital currencies are the key areas of focus

Just as its expansion of the business landscape through capital means since 2011, Google's advancement in the blockchain field also began with a series of investments.

According to a report released by CBInsights at the end of 2017, from 2012 to 2017, Google Ventures, a venture capital unit of Google (hereinafter referred to as "GV"), invested in a number of startups in the field of blockchain technology, including gyft, Blockchain , Ripple, LedgerX, Buttercoin, etc. The report shows that in the five years from 2012 to 2017, Google ranked second in the world in the number of blockchain investments, second only to Japan's SoftBank Group [2].

In 2018, Google began to focus on the development and application of blockchain technology, but its investment activities did not stop.

Table 1: Google's investment and acquisition events in the field of blockchain

Source: Arranged according to public information on the Internet, Zero One Think Tank

Judging from the business content of the companies they invest in, they specifically include mobile payment, digital wallets, digital currency transactions, enterprise payment services, and digital currency transactions. It can be seen that digital currency is the focus of Google's investment and mergers and acquisitions.

Recent investment dynamics show that Google's layout in the field of blockchain, investment is still an important means. At the beginning of 2019, Google, Blackstone Group, Temasek, and Rothschild family jointly established a fund that mainly invests in companies in the blockchain and fintech fields, focusing on investing in A and B round enterprises. The size of the fund may reach 80 billion US dollars.

2. R & D and application of coding technology since 2018, focusing on digital security protection

Google began to add blockchain technology in 2018, but before 2016, Google provided its developers with a trial interface for testing blockchain services on the cloud. Although the startup of blockchain technology is relatively lagging, Google co-founder Sergey Brin also mentioned in July 2018 that Google's secret research department GoogleX is working hard to make blockchain technology put into practical use as soon as possible .

Table 2: Google's actions on blockchain technology since 2018

Source: Incomplete statistics based on network data, Zero One Think Tank

From the perspective of Google's advancement in blockchain technology and applications, the following two areas are currently prominent in technology and applications:

1. Google Cloud data analysis engine BigQuery and cryptocurrency

Since 2012, Google has invested in digital currency / cryptocurrency startups. Since 2018, in its process of turning to the development and application of blockchain technology, digital currency is still a key follow-up area. Reflected in its launched data analysis engine BigQuery, the analysis engine was launched by Google in November 2011.

In February 2018, BigQuery imported bitcoin data. A few months later, Google launched a new plug-in for analyzing the Ethereum blockchain, which allows users to interact directly with Ethereum data. Chrome browser users can read all data stored on the Ethereum blockchain. By February 2019, Google's BigQuery data analysis platform can already provide public blockchain data including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and six other cryptocurrencies. In March 2019, Google added a user interface that makes it easy to search cryptocurrency information on the search site for the convenience of cryptocurrency investors.

In a report issued by the US information technology research and consulting company Gartner, a blockchain cloud service technology evaluation provided by global cloud computing vendors mentioned that BigQuery is an advantage of Google's blockchain because blockchain analysis is the future One of the main investment areas, Google is on the right track.

2. Patent and technology: Pay attention to user data security protection

As of now, Google's publicly announced blockchain technology patent is a patent related to the use of the blockchain platform to protect the security of user account data submitted to the US Patent Office in March 2018.

At the same time, it was pointed out in the submitted patent document that Google will launch two independent blockchain projects: an "anti-tamper" audit system and a cloud operating platform. It can be seen that the blockchain technology patent applied by Google and the two blockchain projects are mainly based on the security of data.

For Google, which is home to more than one billion advertisers worldwide, solving the problem of data security protection with the help of blockchain technology, and then protecting the interests of its more than one billion advertisers, is an effective way to cope with the increasingly fierce competition.

Blockchain + Cloud: Google is trying to overtake rivals

Cloud computing services are already one of the most attractive business. Tech giants want to catch up with you and want to gain more market share.

As one of the earliest entrants to the track, Google has been thrown away by Microsoft and Amazon. According to the global cloud computing market data released by gartner in July 2019, Google's share of the cloud computing market in 2018 was only 4%, while the top three were Amazon 47.8%, Microsoft 15.5%, and Alibaba 7.7%.

Table 3: Technology giant cloud computing market share

Source: Gartner (July 2019), ZeroOne Think Tank

At the beginning of 2019, Google executives had discussed whether to completely withdraw from the cloud computing market and set an ambitious goal to become the first or second place in the global cloud computing market by 2023. A few days ago, according to the Wall Street Journal, Google may acquire the US cloud computing company salesforce for $ 250 billion in order to improve its competitiveness in the field of cloud computing. Although it is not an established fact, it is indeed in line with Google's eagerness to increase market share of cloud services.

And Google's numerous layouts in the blockchain are also considered to use blockchain technology to overtake competitors and achieve the first and second goals.

The decentralized and non-tamperable characteristics of blockchain technology can well solve the data security problems that have always restricted the development of cloud computing, achieve secure storage, and prevent data on the cloud from being tampered and forged randomly. Therefore, the combination of blockchain technology and cloud computing is considered to promote the development of cloud computing services. For Google, leveraging blockchain technology to drive cloud computing business is even more urgent.

In March 2018, foreign media pointed out that Google is working on blockchain-related technologies to support its cloud business and prevent competition from emerging startups. And Brian Berendorf, executive director of the open source blockchain project Hyperledger, also stated in early 2018 that Google will provide blockchain products through cloud computing services.

Entering the third quarter of 2018, Google accelerated cooperation with blockchain companies and accelerated the development of blockchain tools.

Table 4: Cooperation between Google and blockchain companies

Source: Arranged according to public information on the Internet, Zero One Think Tank

[1] The original search giant Google announced the reorganization in August 2015, and completed the reorganization in October of that year. Alphabet replaced Google on the Nasdaq, and its stock code was GOOGL. After the reorganization, Google became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. [2] CB insight's report "The Most Active Corporate Investors in the Blockchain Field from 2012 to 2017".