Sat, Sep 24, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Google cloud joins IBM in serving blockchain clients


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

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC has employed Google servers in a trial of a new blockchain application for clearing and settlement, consulting firm GFT Group said in a statement yesterday.

The company’s cloud services are also to be used by other bank clients of the firm, Stuttgart, Germany-based GFT said.

GFT is a member of Google Cloud Platform’s Partner Program.

Until now, IBM and Microsoft 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. Amazon, a leader in cloud service, has also been working with blockchain start-ups.

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, healthcare and other industries rush to try out blockchain, they are 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 US$204 billion this year, up from US$175 billion last year, researcher Gartner Inc said.

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