Last month, Google made a low key announcement on its partnership with Chainlink, a blockchain startup (previously called SmartContract – see Cool Vendors in Blockchain Applications 2017) that specializes in bidirectional integration of off chain data with smart contracts.
To understand Google’s direction with blockchain, please refer to this Google blog relating to their Chainlink partnership announcement:
Currently Google seems to be focusing its blockchain efforts on the enterprise rather than direct to consumer but I believe it will initially develop functionality for enterprises and then once it matures, extend it directly to consumers.
To more deeply understand Google’s strategy refer to the example in the blog that discusses:
“Below, we’ll demonstrate how a specific smart contract platform (Ethereum) can interoperate with our enterprise cloud data warehouse (BigQuery) via oracle middleware (Chainlink). This assembly of components allows a smart contract to take action based on data retrieved from an on-chain query to the internet-hosted data warehouse. Our examples generalize to a pattern of hybrid cloud-blockchain applications in which smart contracts can efficiently delegate to cloud resources to perform complex operations. We will explore other examples of this pattern in future blog posts.”
In sum Google’s partnership with Chainlink enables Ethereum app builders using Google software to integrate data from and to sources outside the blockchain and Google hopes this data will be stored in their cloud-based data warehouse, i.e. Big Query.
You can easily envision a future where Google provides a platform for smart contract and decentralized applications with access to its own vast data stores, along with other public data stores, that both enterprises and consumers can access directly to build their own componentized applications and intelligent content libraries.
Somehow, the words “Blockchain” “Google” and “Facebook” don’t easily go together but I guess the old adage rings true – if you can’t beat em, join em. Blockchain skeptics should take note that innovators – big and small – clearly see its value and the need to understand and embrace it in order to stay current with technological change.