Google has partnered with Dapper Labs, the creator of the Flow blockchain and NFT marketplaces like NBA Top Shot. Google will help scale the Flow blockchain by letting Flow nodes run on its low latency cloud service. The partnership was announced via a press release with Forbes.
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The Flow blockchain currently supports applications such as NBA Top Shot, CryptoKitties, UFC collectibles and more, which have seen tremendous growth and use over the past year. The partnership with Google will allow Flow developers to connect to low latency nodes running on Google’s cloud services.
Google Vice President of Google Cloud North America, Janet Kennedy, said that with blockchain becoming more mainstream, this partnership aims to help Blockchain Flow and Dapper Labs achieve sustainable growth.
“It’s really about helping them grow quickly and sustainably,” Kennedy says. “Blockchain technology is becoming more and more common. So companies like Dapper need a scalable and secure infrastructure to grow their business and, more importantly, support their networks.
This multi-year partnership with Google does not mean that node operators on the Flow blockchain have to use Google’s cloud services. They are always free to use Amazon Web Services or their own hardware and network.
But Google has simplified the process by which Flow node operators can integrate their node into Google’s cloud system. Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said that blockchain today reflects in some ways what happened when people began to realize that the iPhone was the future of cellphones.
“What you see on the blockchain today is the iPhone moment when consumers start to understand what’s going on,” Gharegozlou said. “There are tons of opportunities to build everything from the Flappy Bird to the Angry Bird of Flow and just blockchain in general.”
Dapper Labs is one of the most successful companies to capitalize on the burgeoning NFT and crypto-collectable industry. While this new partnership with Google may have scalability benefits for the Flow blockchain, there are also downsides to reliance on web services from a large corporation.
Bitcoin’s original purpose was to have a system that relied on individuals and their home computers. That way, if enough people were using it, it wouldn’t matter if some people’s computers broke. While it may be more difficult to scale this system to allow massive amounts of transactions compared to a system running on Google’s fast servers, it presents less risk of centralization and downtime.
A 2019 report showed that over 60% of Ethereum nodes are running on a cloud offered by companies like Amazon, Google and others, and just under 40% of nodes are running “on-premises” or in-house. .
It’s a bit hypocritical of a blockchain that claims to be decentralized and without single points of failure. While it is rare for Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud to shut down, it can and has happened. Not only that, but these companies also reserve the right to shut down servers at will.
Google’s partnership with Dapper Labs will help its Flow blockchain scale quickly and efficiently, but its users may want to be wary of how much network is running in Google’s cloud.
This story is developing.