Google launches on Ethereum and unveils its “Blockchain Node Engine”

After Amazon, it’s the turn of Google to offer a new service: the Blockchain NodeEngine. It allows Web3 developers to host blockchain nodes on the internet giant’s cloud.

Google Cloud keeps its promises

Google Cloud announced on January 28, 2022, the formation of a special team focused on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. In a very blockchain-hyped post, the company unveiled its roadmap for establishing itself in the industry:

  • To provide knots one-click deployable blockchains;
  • Launch own nodes validators with selected partners;
  • Participate in the mechanisms of governance on-chain with Google executives;
  • Host access services to data blockchain (through Google BigQuery).

Google Cloud thus wishes to follow in the footsteps of Amazon which already offers node deployment services in Ethereum.

It is the first smart-contracts platform that is chosen for the launch of the Blockchain Node Service. However, after Ethereum, Google wants to extend the initiative to many networks: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, Zcash, Theta, Hedera Hashgraph, Band Protocol, IoTeX, Polygon, XRP, and even… Dogecoin!

Google thus wishes to facilitate the life of Web3 developers and companies. Indeed, maintaining a blockchain node is no small feat. Besides the costs, synchronizing with the rest of the network is a long and sometimes painful process. With the Google Node Engine, everything should be done in a click or almost. Likewise, from the point of view of security, users of the service will be able to benefit from all the protections of the cloud (DDoS, RPC access). Finally, Google praises the saving of time and energy for any company, which will be able to concentrate on its products without worrying about infrastructure.

And decentralization in all this?

This intrusion of GAFAM in the crypto ecosystem is not without consideration. If this simplifies access to the infrastructures of the sector, the risk of centralization nodes is increased. This news did not take long to react to:

The decentralization of P2P networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is the subject of much debate. This is a concept that is often misunderstood because we never specify what type of (de)centralization we are talking about:

  • Policy: Which organizations have control of the nodes?
  • Logic: How do these systems survive a common mode partition or failure?
  • Architectural: how many nodes make up the system?

We can also add the axis financial the (de)centralization of a blockchain network – who owns the coins? Decentralization geographical is also important. Indeed, if the nodes of a system are all located in an area subject to various controls and restrictions resistance to censorship falls apart.

The Google Cloud initiative increases the risks of political and architectural centralization of the industry. We are moving further and further away from the ideals of Satoshi Nakamoto. The time of “one CPU one vote”, and “my wallet my node” is over. How will the GAFAMs react to the pressing injunctions of the financial regulators?

On the technical level, we will give at least one good point for geographical decentralization. Indeed, the Google and Amazon clouds are present on 5 continents and in a multitude of countries.

The future will tell if companies will prefer the simplicity of Google Cloud services, where the independence of a clean, solid infrastructure, is made up of servers self-hosted.

John R. Zepeda

I have extensive experience working as a content writer in the areas of cryptocurrencies and finance, where I create interesting pieces that both inform and engage their audiences.

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