Google Boss Sundar Pichai, On Investor Call, Shares New Focus

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Sundar Pichai has commented on web3, saying that his company is exploring its possibilities

Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai made his first public comments on web3, saying he is watching the blockchain space and looking at how Google’s parent company can add value to development of the technology that’s being embraced by many of his Silicon Valley peers.

“Any time there is innovation, I find it exciting,” Mr Pichai said on Tuesday in response to a question about the technology on Alphabet’s earnings call. “I think it’s something we want to support the best we can.”

Investors have plowed money into companies working on web3, a vision of the internet model built around cryptocurrencies and digital ownership. Many other technology companies, such as Block Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Twitter Inc., have embraced this fervor with plans for payments, coins or services that incorporate digital tokens. Google has largely stayed quiet on the topic.

“We are definitely looking at blockchain,” Mr Pichai added. “It’s such an interesting and powerful technology with broad applications.” He cited a recent announcement Google’s cloud division made to win more contracts with companies working on “digital assets.” Google has also started its own team working on blockchain. Mr Pichai didn’t mention cryptocurrencies, which the company currently doesn’t accept for its ads or payments service. 

Many web3 evangelists position the nascent technology as an antidote to centralized internet providers like Google. Mr Pichai made his comments after Alphabet posted more than $20 billion in profit during the holiday quarter from its stable of web properties.

On the call, Mr Pichai touted Google’s investments in augmented reality, noting plans to bring key services like Maps and YouTube into whatever virtual worlds people may use in the future. He didn’t mention any work on devices.

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