British company Juniper Research recently published a study which suggests that the use of blockchain technology by multinational companies is just a matter of time. Analysts report that nearly 6 out of 10 corporations are considering application of this technology or already in the process of developing corporate blockchain services:
Two-thirds (66 percent) expected blockchain to be integrated into their systems by the end of 2018. Only 15 percent of respondents know about the technology by hearsay, while 75 percent are confident that its use will be “very useful”.
Earlier, Cointelegraph reported that Microsoft and Amazon were considering the possibility of integrating blockchain technology into a number of their platform services. These are not the only cases where multinational corporations are making waves in the crypto space. For example, Huawei is loading its phones with a built-in Bitcoin wallet, Samsung revealed its plans to use blockchain for managing its global supply chain, and IBM has announced a partnership with Nestle, Unilever and Walmart to assist with identifying and preventing contaminated products from reaching consumers.
However, can we remember at least one multinational corporation which has successfully applied the blockchain technology? Hardly. It all comes down to the “miracle effect” used by companies such as Kodak or Tulip BioMed solely to increase their market capitalization. The annual growth of shares of the latter increased by 43,500 percent after the word “Bitcoin” appeared in the company title. Therefore, the question of how and why manufacturers of cameras and medical supplies require blockchain technology to assist in an already profitable production cycle remains.
For these reasons, Cointelegraph is taking an objective look at whether blockchain can improve profits and services rendered by global giants like Google, Facebook and Uber and why hasn’t this integration occurred yet.
Will we see Googlereum?
In the past decade, it’s hard to think of a single revolutionary technology that Google didn’t experiment with. Cloud technology, neural networks, big data, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, self driving cars, machine learning – all of these have been applied or even designed by the company. But when it comes to blockchain, Google doesn’t seem bothered with it.
CBInsights states that Google takes the second position in the top corporate investors in blockchain companies, with 6 investments that span private enterprise services (LedgerX), and merchant services. One possible reason might be that Google expects to profit from its equity investment in blockchain startups and sees the perspectives of this industry.
Image source: CBInsights
The other possible reason for Google’s blockchain investment might be that it is trying to integrate blockchain for enhancing its corporate processes. This is backed up be the fact that Google recently began developing a blockchain-based cloud service.
This new solution is expected to not only provide a high level of security for personal data stored on cloud servers, but also help Google to gain a competitive advantage against other startups that have already jumped onto the blockchain bandwagon. In any case, Google can’t be too careful wherever personal data may intersect with cryptocurrencies. Especially now that most internet users understand the pseudo-anonymity of the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain, with all the transactions and their senders being tracked in the system, and wallets being vulnerable to third party access.
The use of distributed ledgers by anonymous cryptocurrencies such as Zcash and Monero is also under question due to sanctions imposed against them by a number of states, and the general rhetoric of regulatory bodies considering privacy-oriented coins to be an attractive instrument for money laundering and terrorism. Before talking about the deployment of its own blockchain, the Internet giant should have a particular problem, which cannot be solved without participation of this technology. Thus, the use of blockchain for securing the personal data of users seems unlikely.
Experiments may affect the contextual advertising service Google Adwords. The advertising market is one of the most dynamic developing industries of the last decade. Now businesses are fighting for clients on the Internet. Clicks, views, and leads have all become an integral part of any company’s marketing campaign. However, today we often hear that Internet marketing is becoming inefficient as entrepreneurs are spending huge amounts for advertising, and the cost of attracting one user can reach up to $6. Google and Facebook are market monopolies with a total share equal to 72 percent – which explains why they might not be interested in changing the conditions.
However, advertisers in search of more favorable prices may give preference to blockchain-based ad networks – and here, Google should hold a high bar.
For example, the creator of the well-known web browser Mozilla Firefox Brandon Eich launched his new project Brave, where users are given internal cryptocurrency for viewing only relevant and interesting advertising. Another example of how blockchain technology can transform existing Google services can be the Ubex startup, which offers a service that directly connects advertisers and webmasters, providing full automation and as a consequence, more attractive conditions for promotion. Such technology may become a panacea for monopolization and spamming as the neural network analyzes users behavior, collects their preferences and reduces the number of ads displayed to a few impressions. According to Ubex founders, the combination of blockchain, artificial intelligence and pay per result principle could help to free the internet from unnecessary ads and achieve nearly 100 percent conversion. In the future a person will see just one ad at a web session and that would be exactly what he/she wants to buy right now.
Optimization will also affect analytics, which are still based exclusively on the calculation of banner clicks and conversions. As a result, the Internet community could become free from intrusive spam, and brand owners could save money by paying only for profitable actions.
The introduction of such a service into a multibillion-dollar market could become as significant as the transition of the Ethereum blockchain from the Proof-of-Work algorithm to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm, since it may solve the industry backlog. But does Google share the idea that only blockchain will make it possible in principle to switch to a model of payment for targeted actions? This is one of the directions in which the corporation needs to work to maintain its leading position in the market. The founder of Ubex, Artem Chestnov told Cointelegraph:
“Google will start moving to the blockchain space faster than we think and than their management thinks, they simply have no choice. They are already late and will try to catch up time by a number of serious acquisitions. We shall see a multibillion M&A activity from tech giants already next year.”