Google Cloud Joins Amazon, IBM in Serving Blockchain Clients

  • Banks to use Google data centers for tests of new technology
  • Royal Bank of Scotland tries out a clearing and settlement app

Google’s cloud services will be used to test blockchain technologies for banks, an area where IBM, Microsoft and Amazon have been courting clients for the past year.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group has employed Google servers in a trial of a new blockchain application for clearing and settlement, the consulting firm GFT said Friday in a statement. The company’s cloud services will also be used by other bank clients of the firm, Stuttgart, Germany-based GFT said.

Until now, International Business Machines Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have been most active in rolling out special developer tools and inviting banks and start-ups to test the new database technology in their massive data centers. Inc., the leader in cloud service, has also been working with blockchain startups. GFT is a member of Google Cloud Platform’s Partner Program.

The blockchain is a distributed ledger where multiple companies -- such as banks -- can record transactions securely. The database’s strength lies in its trustworthiness: the difficulty of reversing or changing any transactions that have been recorded. By facilitating trust and collaboration, the technology promises to make many industries more efficient, and reduce costs on everything from international money transfers to paying a supplier.

As companies in the financial, supply-chain, health care and other industries rush to try out blockchain uses, they’re opening up a potential new growth area for cloud-services players, like Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Testing in the cloud is often easier and can be done faster than tests on a bank’s own computers.

If the tests are successful, cloud services could potentially play a role in blockchain deployments, since a database shared by multiple companies is more easily managed in the cloud. Worldwide, the public cloud services market should reach $204 billion this year, up from $175 billion last year, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

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