Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), a multinational technology corporation known for its suite of internet services, is reportedly taking strategic inroads to the crypto space, through its recent partnerships formed with Coinbase and BitPay that would enable new functionalities for Google Pay, its consumer payments division.
According to an initial report by Bloomberg, the tech firm has recently formed partnerships with Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, and BitPay, a bitcoin payment service provider, both of which are headquartered in the U.S. The initial report explores Google’s relationship with the two crypto firms, and goes on to link this with Google’s recent hiring of Arnold Goldberg to run Google Pay’s payments and emerging market efforts. Goldberg has previously worked at PayPal Holdings Inc. as VP for Merchant Product and Technology.
The move comes right after Google has deprecated its project for banking services, instead moving to broaden its position in the financial services space, which includes crypto. Bill Ready, who lead’s Google’s commerce division, said that this was aligned with the firm’s broader strategy to expand Google Pay’s custody capabilities for crypto assets on its digital cards. Ready also previously worked at PayPal as its COO.
With this integration, users would soon be able to hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by spending amounts in fiat through Google Pay. Notably, Google's cloud services division, Google Cloud, has concurrent partnerships with CryptoWire and Dapper Labs. Google's former CEO, Eric Schmidt, also serves as strategic advisor to Chainlink Labs, a blockchain infrastructure firm providing open-source oracle solutions.
“Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to. As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.” shares Ready.
Google has not clarified, however, whether these integrations would extend to Google itself accepting Bitcoin for transactions without the fiat on-ramp. Ready has acknowledged this necessity, however, and says that the division he leads is looking to expand partnership opportunities with other crypto firms that would provide more crypto-specific functionalities to Google Pay.
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