Google said Tuesday it will lean on Coinbase to start allowing some customers to pay for cloud services with cryptocurrencies in early 2023, while Coinbase said it would rely on Google’s cloud infrastructure.
Google partners with Coinbase
Cryptocurrency payments will initially be rolled out to a handful of Web3 industry-related customers. Google will also use Coinbase’s escrow service, Coinbase Prime.
“We want to make building on Web3 faster and easier, and this partnership with Coinbase helps developers get one step closer to that goal,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.
The tech giant has been adding to its cryptocurrency features and services recently, with Ethereum wallet balances now appearing when searching for an address on Google, and the BNB blockchain partnering
with Google Cloud to support the growth of early-stage Web3 and blockchain startups.
Excited to share that Google Cloud has selected Coinbase to expand their crypto offerings! Today, I presented at #GoogleCloudNext alongside @ThomasOrTK to introduce Coinbase’s integration with Google Cloud.
— Brian Armstrong 🛡️ (@brian_armstrong) October 11, 2022
The search giant also provided a countdown clock for Ethereum’s recent upgrade to Proof of Stake.
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase co-founder and CEO, said:
“We couldn’t ask for a better partner to help execute our vision of building a trusted bridge into the Web3 ecosystem.”
“We believe more partnerships with traditional players will follow. As the cryptoeconomy expands over the longer term, Coinbase will look more like an integrated digital asset enabler than a pure crypto-exchange,” said Owen Lau, an analyst at Oppenheimer.
“Coinbase, which generates most of its revenue from retail transactions, will move data-related applications to Google from the Amazon Web Services cloud, which Coinbase has relied on for years,” said Jim Migdal, vice president of business development at Coinbase.
“The Google Cloud Platform infrastructure service will initially accept cryptocurrency payments from a handful of customers in the Web3 world who want to pay with cryptocurrency, thanks to an integration with the Coinbase Commerce service,” said Amit Zavery, vice president and general manager and head of Google Cloud Platform.
It was not guaranteed that Google would choose Coinbase for the payments part of the deal. PayPal for example, offers businesses a way to accept digital currency payments. “We have looked at other companies for the cryptocurrency part,” Zavery said. Ultimately, he said, Coinbase had the most capability.
Google is also exploring how it can use Coinbase Prime, a service that securely stores organizations’ cryptocurrencies and allows them to execute trades.
Zavery said Google will experiment and “see how we can participate” in cryptocurrency asset management. Blockchain (the payments company formerly known as Square), Coinbase, MicroStrategy and Tesla are among the companies that have added digital currencies to their balance sheets.
This can be a risky endeavor. Coinbase announced in August a $377 million impairment charge linked to the decline in the value of its cryptocurrency holdings.
Google had previously indicated in May that it was exploring adding support for digital currency payments. Migdal said Coinbase had been in discussion with Google for months, with talks about support for merchant transactions, use of the cloud and the Prime service all happening in parallel. “We decided to bring them together,” he said.
The technology and Web3
Blockchain technologies, such as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have become a major focus for Google’s cloud division.
Previously, Google’s cloud chief, Thomas Kurian, has driven growth in major sectors such as media and retail.
This year he has announced the formation of teams to drive blockchain business and create tools that third-party developers can turn to in order to run blockchain applications.
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