Google Cards to Facilitate Bitcoin and Crypto Custody, Google Forms New Blockchain Group
Tech giant Google is now leveraging crypto to expand its presence in the highly competitive FinTech market. As per the latest report from Bloomberg, Google is working on adding custodial capabilities for digital assets via Google Cards.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce, said: “Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to. As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.”
Google has initiated partnerships with cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase and BitPay to enable this new functionality. In contrast, Bitpay is a Bitcoin payment processing service provider for merchants. The Google team is currently seeking additional partnership opportunities, but the company isn't accepting BTC for transactions.
These digital card integrations will allow its customers to hold bitcoin in their digital cards while spending fiat currency. This arrangement wouldn't operate on the peer-to-peer asset as a medium of exchange but at the same time allows individuals to pay with their bitcoin.
However, looking at the current market sentiment, BTC is treated more like an asset than a mode of payment due to its soaring price in the last decade. Crypto advocates have mentioned on multiple occasions that BTC is an asset and meant to be held for long term investment.
While Google has been experimenting with its crypto move, it has no intentions to compete with traditional banks. “We’re not a bank — we have no intention of being a bank,” Ready told Bloomberg. “Some past efforts, at times, would unwittingly wade into those spaces” Rather, Google is willing to become a “connective tissue” for the consumer finance industry.
Google has also hired formed PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to run its payments division.
On the other hand, Google has formed a dedicated Blockchain Group focused on “blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies”.
Shivakumar Venkataraman, an engineering vice president for Alphabet Inc.’s Google shall be leading this new blockchain division. Venkataraman led Google's search advertising team for almost 19 years turned VP/GM at Google Labs in Jan 2022.
Although Google has been offering cloud services to blockchain projects, this is the first direct initiative from the company in the blockchain space.
Venkataraman led Google's search advertising team for almost 19 years turned VP/GM at Google Labs in Jan 2022.