Google’s cloud computing infrastructure division Google Cloud is embracing the Web3 movement with the news that it’s now running a validator for the Solana blockchain network.
Google Cloud’s official Twitter account first teased the news in a tweet that tagged Solana founder and Chief Executive Antaloy Yakovenko.
The news was then confirmed to followers in a follow up tweet, where Google Cloud stated it’s now running a block-producing Solana validator in order to participate in and validate Solana’s network.
In addition, Google Cloud said it’s planning to bring its Blockchain Node Engine to Solana’s blockchain early next year. Blockchain Node Engine is Google’s node hosting service, which currently supports the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a fully-managed service that makes it simple to host node operations without any management hassles, aimed at Web3 companies that require their own, dedicated node to relay transactions, deploy smart contracts and read or write blockchain data with the highest degree of reliability and security.
“We want to make it one-click to run a Solana node cost-effectively,” said Google’s Web3 product manager Nalin Mittal at Solana’s Breakpoint 2022 conference in September, Decrypt reported.
Google Cloud’s move to support Solana is a big deal for the Web3 industry because it validates its emergence as a kind of alternative infrastructure for the world wide web. At its most basic level, Web3 refers to a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain. Platforms and apps that are built atop of Web3 won’t be owned by a centralized entity, like Facebook, but rather by their users, who will earn their ownership stake by helping to develop and maintain those services.
Google seems convinced that the idea of Web3 is a viable one, and more importantly one that’s worth supporting. It took its first steps in that direction last May with the formation of a team that’s dedicated to Web 3.0 technologies, with a focus on building tools that will allow its customers to develop blockchain-powered products and services.
It makes sense because blockchain, which was originally conceived to power Bitcoin, is rapidly emerging as a viable platform for technologies such as financial services and retail, where a distributed ledger is more suitable for recording and storing transactions.
Google’s backing of Solana adds a lot of credibility to the space. Very few technology firms have as much clout as Google, after all, and its support underscores that blockchain has evolved to become a legitimate and viable technology platform. In addition, Google Cloud’s infrastructure is second-to-none, bringing unmatched performance and security to blockchain based applications that are built atop of it.
While Solana is the first blockchain to enjoy Google Cloud’s support, there are suggestions that it won’t be the last. In response to Google’s tweet, Tezos creator Arthur Breitman tweeted his congratulations and hinted that his project might soon have its own announcement pertaining to Google.
Backing a project such as Tezos would be a smart move for Google, as it’s widely regarded as one of the most energy-friendly blockchains around. As opposed to blockchains like Bitcoin, which uses an energy-intensive “proof-of-work” consensus mechanism to process transactions, Tezos relies on a novel “proof-of-stake” algorithm that consumes hardly any energy at all. As a result, Tezos is widely regarded as the most suitable platform for “clean NFTs” and other environmentally-conscious blockchain applications.
There are reasons to believe in a possible partnership between Google Cloud and Tezos. Back in 2020, Tezos announced it was collaborating with Google to integrate a Tezos dataset within Google BigQuery, making it easy for users to query on-chain data for insights using standard SQL Syntax. So not only is there an existing relationship of sorts, but just as important, Google Cloud has notably committed to becoming totally “carbon free” by 2030. If it’s to achieve that goal, it will probably want to avoid any close association with energy-hogging blockchains in favor of cleaner projects like Tezos.
Another potential blockchain partner for Google Cloud could be Flare Network, which recently launched its own protocol on Google Cloud. Flare’s VP of Engineering Josh Edwards tweeted that he had a great time working with Google, and that he was “very excited” about the “next steps” planned together – whatever they might be.
One thing seems certain – Google Cloud is taking blockchain seriously and it’s happy to see its name associated with Web3, bringing some real and much-needed credibility into the space.