Crypto hedge bet? Google combines Coinbase into Cloud

Cryptocurrency platform Coinbase has selected Google Cloud as a strategic cloud provider, in a move touted as driving Web3 innovation and development. The news comes after Google’s recent partnership with the blockchain arm of embattled crypto service Binance.

Announced at Google Cloud Next ’22, the Coinbase collaboration will see Google Cloud’s compute platform used to process blockchain data at scale, enhancing the global reach of the startup’s crypto services through Google’s fiber-optic network. Google Cloud meanwhile will leverage the Coinbase Commerce offering to enable cryptopayments for its solutions. This is currently limited to a “handful” of “select customers”, with no word yet on selection criteria and method.

The move is seen as validation of cryptocurrency technologies in a difficult year for the tech, as well as a cementing of Coinbase’s status as a safe bet in crypto. It also comes not one month after Google Cloud partnered on a smart contract blockchain service from Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange which has faced legal trouble in a variety of nations, and a major hacking incident just this week. Unlike the Coinbase deal, the September announcement fully focused on the rebranded BNB Chain with nary a mention of Binance and its cryptocurrency wares.

“Coinbase is more ‘institutional ready’ than competitors,” says Davide Carboni, PhD, consultant and founder of Uniscrow.com. “The Binance hack has a ‘perfect’ timing here, but I think that this Google/Coinbase deal was (quietly developing) before the hack happened.”

Regarding what the Coinbase deal means for Web3 in general, Carboni believes the term is an “abused” one.

“However,” he continues, “Bitcoin, Ethereum and a few other networks are here to stay and today it is just Google accepting payments. Tomorrow, it’ll be more automation, and integration between services can be made possible with smart contracts and micropayments.”

As part of the deal, Coinbase will move current “data-related” apps from AWS and build its global data platform on Google Cloud infrastructure. Using Google’s data and analytics tech, Coinbase users could potentially benefit from machine learning-driven cryptocurrency insights.

Web3 developers will also find access to Google’s crypto public datasets, as powered by Coinbase Cloud Nodes, across major blockchains. Additionally, Google will use Coinbase Prime for institutional crypto services such as secure custody and reporting.