Google Establishes a Blockchain Unit and Appoints a New ‘Founding Leader’

Google has named an executive to manage its newly established blockchain and data storage technology team.

After years of avoiding direct involvement in blockchain projects, Google is finally looking to get its feet wet. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the Alphabet subsidiary has chosen a new leader to run a section focused on “blockchain and other next-generation distributed computing and data storage technologies.”

Shivakumar Venkataraman, Alphabet’s engineering vice president, will now manage the unit as the founding leader of Google Labs, a startup incubator committed to testing innovative virtual and augmented reality concepts.

Venkataraman, who has worked at Google for over 18 years, has over 25 years of experience as a software engineer with firms such as IBM and over ten years in paid advertising for the digital giant, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Google’s effort comes on the heels of the appointment of former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to lead the company’s payments business as part of a bigger goal to integrate a broader range of financial services, including cryptocurrency, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Google’s actions come after years of avoiding direct participation in embryonic blockchain technology. The internet behemoth now looks to be attempting to keep up with Facebook’s forays into the metaverse and Twitter’s investment in crypto infrastructure. Google was contacted by Blockworks but did not respond by press time.

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