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Google Expands Search to Include Multi-Blockchain Wallet Balances

Google has unveiled an expansion of its search capabilities, now allowing users to search for wallet balances across multiple blockchains including Bitcoin, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism, Polygon, and Fantom. By simply entering a wallet address into Google’s search bar, users can now view the token balance by network along with the timestamp of the last update.

The new feature supports three Bitcoin address formats: P2PKH, P2SH, and Bech32, providing insights into current balances and recent transactions. This integration of Bitcoin data into Google’s search results is seen as a significant move to increase the accessibility of on-chain activity, leveraging Google’s vast daily search volume.

While the feature has been met with enthusiasm from many in the crypto community as a step towards mainstream adoption, it has also sparked concerns among privacy-centric Bitcoin supporters. They fear that centralized data aggregation could have implications for user privacy.

This update follows Google’s earlier initiative to include Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain searches, enabling users to check wallet balances using readable domain names, such as “vitalik.eth”, for Ethereum addresses. Google’s journey into integrating crypto-related features began in 2022 with the tracking of some Ethereum wallet addresses’ Ether balances directly through the search engine, a move that precluded the need to visit Etherscan.

Google’s evolving stance on cryptocurrency is evident in its reversal of a ban on Bitcoin-related advertisements in 2018, to allowing advertisements for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) following their approval in the United States in January. The inclusion of ETF products from prominent asset managers like BlackRock in search results marks a new era of crypto accessibility.

Furthermore, Google’s engagement with the crypto world extends beyond search features. In October 2022, a partnership with Coinbase enabled customers to pay for cloud services with cryptocurrencies. The tech giant also celebrated the Ethereum Merge – a significant transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism – with a creative countdown featuring animated pandas.

In 2023, Google Cloud’s collaboration with Web3 startup Orderly Network aimed to democratize decentralized finance (DeFi) by developing user-centric tools that address some of DeFi’s biggest challenges: entry barriers and security concerns.

Google’s progressive integration of blockchain and crypto features signals a broader acceptance and recognition of digital assets, amidst ongoing debates about privacy and the centralization of user data. This blend of technology and finance heralds a new chapter in the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, with Google at the forefront of this digital revolution.



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