When you ask your Grandmother how she connects to the Internet, instead of pointing to the internet router, she might say “through my Google.” While it’s cute, in a way, she’s not wrong. The line between the ubiquitous search giant and the Internet has overlapped in recent years, especially with Google accounting for 25 percent of Internet traffic.
Google is also building its own private internet. After buying up thousands of miles of unused fiber cable buried underground across the world in 2005, it now has over 100 access points to the network and over 7,500 points of entry for users in its global cloud network. It is even adding three new subsea cables this year, proudly announcing: “We’re not done yet.”
But Google—which was the second biggest corporate investor in blockchain companies between 2012 and 2017—has not optimized its global private network for blockchains. CyberMiles wants to change that.
The e-commerce blockchain platform announced its partnership with Google on Tuesday. CyberMiles intends to change Google’s infrastructure setup in order to improve its offering for blockchain companies. This will involve how the network communicates and how it supports changes to firewalls. Both companies plan to do joint case studies to show these enhancements. CyberMiles, which announced the launch of its mainnet on October 15, also used Google cloud services when developing its testnet and mainnet.
According to the blockchain company’s chief scientist, Michael Yuan, CyberMiles initially approached Google to support its platform on its global private network. The Google network allows data to be sent between any of its data centres without leaving its own, much faster, fiber cables. This piqued the interest of CyberMiles because the platform only has a limited number of nodes supporting the blockchain—35 at the time of this writing—and that communication between these nodes is vital to its ability to function.
While the benefits of the private network were clear, it also raised some questions. Namely, is it decentralized enough? And, is it secure? Yuan says that, due to these factors, it has been working with Google to ensure that there is much more efficient communication over the network and that there is flexible configuration for firewalls. The latter is important because the CyberMiles nodes are protected by firewalls and the flexibility is required to prevent hacks.
Google is making moves to enter China which will involve widespread censorship on its search engine within the region. Globally, it is also creating this private internet, which could end up becoming more widely used by business, and then individuals. Are these the beginnings of a more centralized version of the internet or will blockchains help to steer the big decision makers in a more decentralized direction by working directly with them? Web3 lies in the balance.
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