Last week, it was reported that Google is one of the world’s most active backers of blockchain-backed startups. Since 2012, Google has led 140 equity investments totaling roughly $1.2 billion in the blockchain sector. The question lingers, why hasn’t Google directly built or added blockchain into its search functionality?
Currently, Google has monopolized the search market and now controls nearly 80 percent of desktop and 95 percent of mobile searches. In fact, Google handles over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. The service effectively serves as the “gatekeeper to the digital world,” an extremely influential role that dramatically shapes the direction of our internet-based economy.
Many believe, however, that a role of this significance should not be entrusted to one company. Having a single entity in charge is particularly troublesome because it can operate in an opaque manner.
“The original purpose of the web and internet, if you recall, was to build a common neutral network which everyone can participate in equally for the betterment of humanity,” writes Matthew Hodgson in TechCrunch. “But now we have Skype from Microsoft, Facetime from Apple, and Google with Duo. Each big company has its own equivalent service, each stuck in its own bubble. These services may be great, but they aren’t exactly what we imagined during the dream years when the internet was being built.”
The conglomerates mentioned by Hodgson have taken over the digital world. They control access to our most important information and confidential data. However, Hodgson goes on to say that “there is an emerging movement to bring the web back to this vision and it even involves some of the key figures from the birth of the web. It’s called the Decentralized Web or Web 3.0, and it describes an emerging trend to build services on the internet which do not depend on any single ‘central’ organization to function.”
There are a number of inherent security and efficiency advantages to using a distributed, blockchain-based system to store information that centralized data warehouses cannot compete with.