After Amazon, it’s the turn of Google to offer a new service: the Blockchain Node Engine. 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 executors;
- Host access services to data blockchain (via Google BigQuery).
Google Cloud thus wishes to follow in the footsteps ofAmazonwhich already offers node deployment services Ethereum.
It is obviously 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 facilitate the life of Web3 developers and companies. Indeed, maintaining a blockchain node is no small feat. Besides the costs, to sychronize with the rest of the network is a long and sometimes painful process. With the Google Node Engine, everything should be done in one 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.
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And decentralization in all this?
Obviously, 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 centralisation nodes is increased. This news did not take long to react:
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 financier 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 restrictionsresistance to censorship falls apart.
The Google Cloud initiative obviously increases the risks of political and architectural centralization of the industry. We are moving further and further away from ideals of Satoshi Nakamoto. The time of “one CPU one vote”, “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 the 5 continents and in a multitude of countries.
The future will tell if companies will prefer the simplicity Google Cloud services, where the independence of a clean, solid infrastructure, made up of servers self-hosted.
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