Why Google Has Sat on the Web3 Sidelines

An anonymous reader shares a report: Google doesn't accept cryptocurrencies for ad buying, its payments service or its app store. Until recently, Google had banned several categories of crypto ads. Google hasn't touched NFTs. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Television, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai copped that he "dabbled" in crypto, but didn't own any. Some staffers at Google have also dabbled with the technology, according to multiple current and former employees at the company. Still, Google hasn't laid out a plan for inserting itself into web3. A Google spokesperson said its mobile payments service is "working with several companies" such as Coinbase, Bitpay and Gemini "to support crypto cards, which transact in fiat currencies." There are a few reasons Google might not want to dive into the new arena -- one is defensive. Web3 evangelists see the technology as "decentralized," controlled by its many participants. They draw stark contrasts to the business models of Google, Facebook and Amazon. These boosters see the blockchain as inherently trustworthy, unlike the current web titans. "Can't do evil > don't be evil," tweeted Chris Dixon, an Andreessen Horowitz partner, in a clear dig at Google. And many Silicon Valley visions for web3 activity, search engines and media decidedly don't involve advertising, Google's main business. But the company isn't completely averse to cryptocurrency. Google has been willing to take crypto money for its cloud business. In September, the division signed a deal with Dapper Labs, a Canadian blockchain company. It also has agreements with Hadera, Block.one and others. Given web3's escalating computing demands, Google will certainly look to ink more of these. (Google will have to weigh crypto's energy needs versus the company's zero-emissions targets.) In some ways, the wait-and-see strategy is typical of Pichai, who has a more deliberate management style than his predecessors. And that doesn't mean the company isn't quietly exploring the technology.

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