“We probably already failed to be on the bleeding edge [of blockchain], I’ll be honest,” Google co-founder and president of parent company Alphabet, Sergey Brin, said at a blockchain conference in Morocco on July 8.
However, despite missing out on the first sailing of the blockchain boat, Brin says that Google isn’t going to let the opportunity to join the revolution pass it by completely. In fact, Brin teased secret blockchain projects in the works by Google X — the tech company’s research and development facility.
Although Brin concedes to having limited knowledge of all things blockchain and cryptocurrency, he did reveal, at the conference in Morocco, that he was mining Ether with his 10-year-old son, on a gaming PC.
Google’s relationship with the cryptocurrency industry has run hot and cold. In March 2018, the company announced that all crypto-focused promotional content would be banned from its platforms. Philip Nunn, CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm Blackmore Group, accused Google of being hypocritical, citing unethical ads Google, Facebook and YouTube have allowed on their sites, including promotions for gambling and the notorious Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Facebook also recently banned crypto promotions on its platform, though it is reportedly relaxing its policy on the matter. YouTube was named in a lawsuit in connection to BitConnect, a cryptocurrency exchange scam, for showing ads that duped many of its users into losing large amounts of money.
Nunn hypothesizes that Google’s ban is much more self-serving, though, claiming that the company is trying to get rid of future blockchain technology competition. Nunn told Bitcoinist: “I suspect the ban has been implemented to fit in with potential plans to introduce their own cryptocurrency to the market in the near future, and, therefore, removing other crypto adverts allows them to do it on their own terms.”
In a letter, Brin emphasizes the tense space surrounding innovation in technology: “While I am optimistic about the potential to bring technology to bear on the greatest problems in the world, we are on a path that we must tread with deep responsibility, care, and humility.”
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