Google To Allow Crypto Payments With New Coinbase Deal

Key Takeaways


  • ◉ Google and Coinbase have signed a deal which will see Google accept cryptocurrency for
  • some of its cloud computing clients
  • ◉ It’s a move which will allow Google to go after cutting-edge crypto and Web3 companies wh
  • want to use digital currencies as their payment method
  • ◉ Coinbase will receive a percentage of these payments and it will allow them to continue to
  • diversify away from revenue based on trading volume

While Google’s Cloud Next conference may not pull the crowds like Apple’s annual presentation or even Tesla’s AI Day, there have nonetheless been some interesting developments to come out of this year’s event.


Given that Google is now one of the aging stalwarts in the tech industry, it may come as a surprise to some that they plan to begin to accept crypto as payment for some of their cloud computing services.


They’ll be relying on Coinbase to facilitate these transactions, which is expected to be operational in early 2023.


This has the potential to be a major boon for both companies as they look to expand their offerings and diversify their business models. For Google, it allows them access to fast growing companies operating in the Web3 space, which many still believe has big potential despite recent hiccups.


From Coinbase’s perspective it will provide them with a revenue stream which isn’t directly tied to trading volumes. This is vital for the stability of the company, who recently laid off over 1,000 employees as a result of plummeting trading volumes due to the crypto winter.


Future cryptocurrency plans on the table


This could be just the beginning of Google’s foray into the world of crypto and Web3. They have also stated as part of the new partnership, that they plan to consider how they might get involved with helping other organizations manage their crypto portfolios.


This is still an area in its infancy, but hardcore Bitcoiners believe that over time we can expect to see more and more companies holding bitcoin on their balance sheet. So far the takeup of this strategy has been limited to a small number of, admittedly pretty big, companies including Tesla, Coinbase, Microstrategy, Block and Riot Blockchain.


The challenge for these companies is how to store these assets. Traditional finance relies on trusted intermediaries to hold assets on a company’s behalf. Companies like Amazon, Apple and MicrosoftMSFT -1.7% hold billions of dollars in cash at any given time and this is held in accounts with major banks like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of AmericaBAC -2.9%.


These institutions are heavily regulated and trusted, meaning companies can expect their cash to be safe. Things get a little complicated with crypto.


Digital currencies are, by definition, decentralized. This means there are no trusted third parties required to facilitate transactions and generally speaking the onus on the security of the assets comes down to the holder.


There are options available, such as holding assets on exchanges, but the sector has been famously involved in many high profile collapses where investors have lost millions.


Like the gap in payment services Google is looking to fill, there is a potential opportunity to insert a trusted third party into the storing of crypto. Pretty ironic when you consider Bitcoin was created in order to avoid just that.


Coinbase already offers a service that facilitates this through a program known as Coinbase Prime. It will be interesting to see whether Google decides to push this service and whether it would entice more conservative organizations to dip their toes in the crypto waters.

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