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Google’s Giant Leap Towards Powering Blockchain-Based Web 3

Google Cloud announced it has tied up with Dapper Labs, the Canadian startup well known for developing the $680 million NBA Top Shot marketplace, to scale and support Dapper’s Flow blockchain. Search engine leader Google is working to take the leadership position in powering the 3rd generation of the World Wide Web, which is supercharged by blockchain.

During this summer, Dapper users carried out between 500,000 and one million transactions per week. According to the industry data site Dapp Radar, the NFT platform is the fourth largest in sales by volume.

Google Cloud, through the multi-year partnership, will act as a network operator. It will provide its infrastructure to help Flow scale. The Flow network, so far, supports more than 50 applications, including some of the most popular NFT collections, like CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. As per Roham Gharegozlou Dapper Labs’ CEO, more than 2,000 developers, through Google’s suite of cloud services, building on Flow will now be able to connect to Flow access nodes at lower latency.

At present, Amazon Web Services powered centralised servers have dominated about a third of the Internet. The World Wide Web’s new blockchain-based implementation will operate on a network of different computers spread across the world. It will range from personal laptops to specialised cryptocurrency mining farms.

This latest move positions Google to brand itself as a developer-friendly alternative. It is going after a chink in Amazon’s armour during the transition phase to what is often called Web 3.0.

According to Janet Kennedy, the vice president of Google Cloud North America, the actual mining cryptocurrency process isn’t allowed on its cloud services. However, based on the energy consumption of different regions, developers will choose which ones will power their platforms.

She says that it is really about helping them with sustainable and rapid growth. Blockchain technology is moving towards becoming mainstream. Companies like Dapper need a scalable, secure infrastructure that supports their networks and grows their business.

Chief executive Roham Gharegozlou says that node operators can freely use any hardware. It can include Amazon Web Services, Google’s nemesis. They have streamlined the process that makes it simpler to integrate with its software for Flow developers.

Gharegozlou says that currently, what is being seen in blockchain today is the iPhone moment where consumers begin to realise what is going on. There are tons of possibilities to build everything from the Flappy Bird to the Angry Bird of Flow and just blockchain in general.

Dapper is doubtless among those quite successful at capitalising on that opportunity. Based out of Vancouver, Canada, the value of the blockchain entertainment company is $7.5 billion. It counts 600,000 wallets on its signature NBA Top Shot platform. It sells “moments,” or short video highlights, put together by the National Basketball Association sold in packs as non-fungible tokens. Bitcoin is “fungible,” as it is interchangeable with any other bitcoin. But as these moments are rare or even unique, they are called “non-fungible”.

The only platforms that outperformed Dapper, according to DappRadar, were Ethereum-based Open Sea, CryptoPunks and Axie Infinity. Since it launched in September 2020, the Top Shot collection smashed multiple NFT sales records and has amassed a sales volume of nearly $700 million.

Following the path of other blockchain projects swelling on the backs of centralised cloud hosts, Dapper Labs, with Google’s help, hopes to scale NBA Top Shot and other NFT lines running on Flow to billions of users. In 2015, Microsoft became the first tech leader in providing cloud-based management and infrastructure as blockchain-as-a-service. Amazon followed in 2019 when it launched its blockchain support.

The reliance on processors owned by one of the largest tech companies in the world might seem ironic as simple laptops once powered the emergence of cryptocurrencies. While the massive centralised cloud offerings integrate themselves with distributed ledgers, their decentralised rivals, which bring together unused computing space on individual computers in exchange for cryptocurrency payments, such as Filecoin, are positioning themselves as the truer backbone of Web 3.0.

However, this Google-Dapper deal is just the latest among the various partnerships the Mountain View, California based company has made recently in the blockchain space. Last year, it became part of the governing council of Hedera Hashgraph, an enterprise-grade distributed ledger network, leading strategic planning for the Hedera network and ensuring its stability. Also, it had launched a suite of tools on its BigQuery data analytics platform in 2019, which had made blockchain data for bitcoin and a few other significant cryptocurrencies fully searchable.

The tech giant has envisioned itself playing a vital role in the Internet’s third era. In its first iteration, Web 1.0, it had all been about static and simplistic websites. Its next stage was also known as Web 2.0. User-generated content and social media dominated this stage. It had opened the opportunity for the emergence of new methods of commerce and communication and decentralised networks.

Kennedy says that they were pretty delighted about Dapper Labs’ work and that Google provided security and infrastructure to them. It was just the very beginning of a new evolution. Now consumers are reimagining their relationship, their ownership of digital assets and digital collectibles.

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