- Google partnered with Digital Asset and BlockApps, startups that make software tools to build blockchain-based apps as it looks to give Google Cloud customers access to digital ledger technology, the Verge reported.
- Google Cloud also joined the private beta test of Digital Asset's developer program, which gives select technology partners, software vendors and global financial institutions access to the software development kit for the Digital Asset Modeling Language, a proprietary programming language that will let Cloud customers "now explore ways they might use distributed ledger technology (DLT) frameworks," Google said in a blog post.
- Digital Asset expanded its developer program to include the DAML Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) on Google Cloud Platform. The DAML PaaS lets developers test and deploy DLT applications, accessible through Google Cloud's Orbitera application marketplace.
Google's partnerships with Digital Assets and BlockApps come as the search giant this week hosts its annual Google Cloud Next conference to promote its cloud services to businesses and developers, suggesting that one focus of the gathering will be how to leverage still nascent digital ledger technology to support cloud app development, an area that has not yet been widely explored and could give Google an edge in cloud services over larger rivals Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web services. Blockchain-based payment apps and other financial services-related apps is one area where Digital Asset's technology could be used by developers, Fortune reported. The technology's potential also reaches beyond financial services apps.
Google is also developing its own blockchain-related technology as the company seeks to build its cloud computing business. Digital ledgers consist of databases that are updated regularly among thousands of internet-connected computers. The security of blockchain transactions may reassure Google Cloud customers that their information is secure. Google has invested or acquired startups with digital ledger expertise as the search giant seeks to compete in cloud services.
It is still early days for understanding what blockchain's implications might be for marketers. One area of focus so far has been the development of blockchain tech and digital ledgers that securely record transactions and process data over the internet to support how online ads are purchased, delivered, measured and valued. Marketing firms are seeking to develop blockchain to eliminate spam or to handle digital ad buying without using Google and Facebook, the "duopoly" that controls most of the digital ad market.
Blockchain may eventually mean marketers can make direct payments to viewers to verify that they have watched an ad, per Forbes. The technology could also change how people do business, use connected smart home devices and prove their identity, among other uses.
The market for blockchain products and services is forecast to jump from $706 million last year to more than $60 billion by 2024, according to WinterGreen Research. That potential market size has drawn interest from established companies and investors. E-commerce giant Amazon helps companies build blockchain apps, while Facebook in May started a group to develop the technology. Among the startups, Brave Sofware has created a web browser to compete with Google Chrome, using blockchain technology to pay websites that internet users visit. Brave Software also developed Basic Attention Tokens to pay publishers and users who opt in to view ads. BitClave lets people get rewards for looking at ads while performing online searches, while Presearch is also using blockchain technology to take on Google's core search engine, according to Bloomberg News.