Google’s cloud group forms Web3 product and engineering team

Thomas Kurian, Managing Director of Cloud Services at Google LLC, speaks at the Google Cloud Next event in San Francisco on April 9, 2019.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google’s cloud unit is forming a team to create services for developers running blockchain apps as the company tries to capitalize on the growing popularity of crypto and related projects.

Amit Zavery, vice president of Google Cloud, told employees in an email on Friday that the idea was to make Google Cloud Platform the first choice for developers in the field.

“While the world is still in the early stages of its adoption of Web3, this is a market that is already demonstrating enormous potential with many customers asking us to increase our support for Web3 and crypto-related technologies” , he wrote.

Web3 pioneers have created a set of decentralized, peer-to-peer systems that they hope will form the next generation of the Internet. It’s a philosophy that challenges the current state of the web, controlled by massive corporations like Amazon, Google, and parent meta-platforms Facebook.

Google wants to offer back-end services to developers interested in building their own Web3 software as the company battles for market share in cloud infrastructure against Alibaba, Amazon and Microsoft.

“We’re not trying to be a direct part of this wave of cryptocurrency,” Zavery told CNBC in an interview. “We provide technologies that enable companies to use and leverage the distributed nature of Web3 in their current businesses and businesses.”

Zavery, a former Oracle executive, joined Google’s cloud group in 2019, months after Google tapped Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle, to be the next head of its cloud unit.

By creating an internal team for Web3 tools, Google is taking another step to prove its commitment to the market. In January, Google’s cloud unit revealed plans for a digital asset team to work with clients, following the emerging growth of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. The company said it was looking at how customers could make payments with cryptocurrencies.

In the future, Google may design a system that other companies can use to make it easier to mine blockchain data, while simplifying the process of creating and running blockchain nodes for validation and processing. registration of transactions, Zavery said. He added that Google’s tools may work in other computing environments, such as Amazon Web Services.

Enthusiasm around bitcoin, the most established cryptocurrency, has waned this year as investors turn away from risky assets. As of Thursday night, bitcoin was down 21% so far in 2022, underperforming the S&P 500, which has fallen around 13%.

But blockchain applications continue to make their way into the mainstream and have growing relevance in industries such as financial services and retail, Zavery said.

Nike CEO John Donahoe told analysts on a March conference call that the shoe company plans to create Web3 products and experiences. Warner Music Group is also interested.

“From collectibles to music royalties, Web3 represents an exciting future for the music industry that will help our artists reach millions and millions of new fans in interesting and innovative ways,” CEO Steve Cooper said during the company’s first quarter earnings call.

James Tromans, a former Citigroup executive who joined Google in 2019, will lead the product and engineering group and report to Zavery. The team will bring together employees who have been peripherally involved with Web3 internally and alone, Zavery said.

Google follows Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing, but the company is growing faster than its core advertising unit. Alphabet’s chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, said last week that the fastest growth in employee numbers was in the cloud division.

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