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Tezos “bakers”—the validators who help secure the blockchain’s network—will soon be able to set up nodes using Google Cloud.
The Tezos Foundation has followed the lead of Aptos and Solana in supporting Google Cloud as a block-producing validator on its network. Validators on proof-of-stake networks process transactions and add new blocks to the chain.
Validators also play a role in the governance process, voting on whether and how to make changes to blockchain networks. But Google Cloud hasn’t expressed an interest in getting involved in Tezos network politics just yet.
“When it makes sense, I would imagine them having an opinion is actually kind of part of the design,” Mason Edwards, chief commercial officer at the Tezos Foundation, told Decrypt. “But yeah, I definitely don't see them getting involved in the politics or voting at this stage.”
Along with becoming a validator, Google Cloud will also start providing enterprise-level support for developers building apps in the Tezos ecosystem. The hope is that it will help bring new waves of developers into the Web3 space, Edwards said.
“This is Google Cloud joining the network as a block-producing validator to always have a finger on the pulse of how easy it is to deploy them,” Edwards said. “It’s part of a strategy that's worked for us, as an ecosystem, and largely been led through Nomadic Labs, where we've brought institutions in by essentially helping them set up these block-producing validators called bakers.
“That's been a good foothold for them to learn more about the technology ecosystem,” he added.
The Google Cloud team launched a handful of similar partnerships last year, becoming a validator on the Solana and Aptos networks and partnering with Coinbase (COIN) to allow customers to pay for its services using Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company has also partnered with Binance’s BNB Chain.
James Tromans, engineering director of Web3 at Google Cloud, said the company sees its role in Web3 the same way it did in the open-source community at the dawn of Web 2.
“As an infrastructure provider, Google Cloud views the evolution of blockchain technology and decentralized networks today as analogous to the rise of open source technologies that led to the internet 10-15 years ago,” Tromans told Decrypt in an email. “Just as open source developments were integral to the early days of the internet, blockchain is yielding innovation and value creation for consumers and businesses in Web3.”
But the Google mothership has still been relatively quiet about the Cloud business’s work in the Web3 space. None of its recent partnerships were mentioned in the company’s Q4 2022 report, which it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.
Excitement for Web3 has shown up in other parts of the business, though.
Neal Mohan, the new CEO at Google-owned YouTube, has said that NFTs could enable “creators to build deeper relationships with their fans” and hopes that leveraging them will help in “making YouTube more immersive.”