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Google Cloud becomes Tezos validator in latest push into Web3

Blurry photos of people as they walk past a Google Cloud sign at a conference.
Google Cloud announced its splash into Web3 and blockchain in the first half of 2022.
Ramsey Cardy—Sportsfile for Web Summit/Getty Images

Google Cloud has added yet again to its growing roster of Web3 partnerships.

The tech behemoth’s cloud computing arm announced on Wednesday that it will collaborate with the Tezos Foundation, the nonprofit promoting the use and development of the Tezos blockchain, which is used by larger organizations like video game developer Ubisoft, consulting agency Deloitte, and even the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The tie-up will entail Google Cloud becoming a Tezos validator—one of the entities that helps maintain the blockchain—and will see the company help corporate clients develop Web3 applications on Tezos. Like other validators (“bakers” in Tezos lingo), Google Cloud is eligible to receive transaction fees, though a spokesperson from the cloud services provider said the company will be forgoing the fees.

Mason Edwards, chief commercial officer at the Tezos Foundation and a former Google employee himself, added that startups developing Tezos applications will be eligible to receive free Google Cloud server space and mentorship from the tech titan.

“It’s a very strong signal to both institutional and indie developers that we’re a supported chain. We’re going to be here awhile,” he told Fortune.

Google Cloud’s support of Tezos comes as rival Amazon Web Services has been pursuing its own partnerships with other blockchain foundations and labs. Google’s push into Web3 may also be seen as an effort to stay on the technological frontier at a time when critics have suggested it has been flat-footed in response to the challenge posed by OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

“Google Cloud views the evolution of blockchain technology and decentralized networks today as analogous to the rise of open source technologies that led to the internet 10 to 15 years ago,” James Tromans, Web3 engineering director at Google Cloud, told Fortune in a statement. “Just as open source developments were integral to the early days of the internet, blockchain is yielding innovation and value creation for consumers and businesses.”

Google Cloud’s public commitment to Web3 is relatively recent. In the first half of 2022, just as the crypto bear market went into full swing, it announced the formation of its own digital assets and Web3 team. Later in the year, it unveiled its Blockchain Node Engine, a streamlined method for developers to access and use blockchains on Google’s servers.

Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine currently supports only the Ethereum and Solana blockchains, but the cloud computing provider has also announced partnerships with Aptos, another blockchain, and BNB Chain, which was created by Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Google’s cloud computing arm said it has partnered as well with Coinbase, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, to allow a subset of its customers to pay for cloud services with cryptocurrency.

In reference to Google, Tezos’s Edwards told Fortune: “They’re making sure that, in the next kind of infrastructure game that happens, they have the strongest players by their side to make sure they don’t miss out.” 

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