The disclosure of Bitcoin wallet balances by Google ignites a privacy controversy.

The disclosure of Bitcoin wallet balances by Google ignites a privacy controversy.

Although there are individuals who praise the progression towards widespread usage, Bitcoin proponents who prioritize privacy have expressed apprehensions regarding the centralization of data aggregation.

Users can now search wallet balances across multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism, Polygon, and Fantom, as a result of an update to Google’s functionality. Search results that accept the wallet address as input exhibit the token balance by network, accompanied by the most recent updated time.

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Current balances and recent transactions are searchable in P2PKH, P2SH, and Bech32 Bitcoin address formats.

By integrating Bitcoin data into its search results, Google increases its visibility into on-chain activity by capitalizing on the substantial volume of daily searches. 

Privacy advocates of Bitcoin have expressed apprehensions regarding the potential consequences of centralized data aggregation on privacy, whereas some applaud Google’s novel functionality as a stride towards widespread usage.

Following the introduction of Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain search results, which enable users to check wallet balances using readable domain names such as “vitalik.eth” for Ethereum wallet addresses, Google has now introduced its most recent feature.

Google’s recent expansion of Ethereum wallet balance searches builds upon the company’s May 2023 debut of such functionality. Google incorporated a cryptocurrency functionality in 2022 that allowed certain Ethereum wallet addresses to have their Ether balances monitored by the Google search engine, thereby eliminating the necessity to visit Etherscan.

The incorporation of wallet queries signifies a change in stance from the tech behemoth. Google previously prohibited advertisements related to Bitcoin in 2018. However, after legalizing Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US in January, the company has since changed its mind and now allows advertisements for these products.

Search results now display ETF products from renowned asset managers like BlackRock.

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Google and Coinbase formed a partnership in October 2022 to enable consumers to pay for cloud services with cryptocurrencies.

Animated pandas moving in unison also served to commence a countdown to the Ethereum Merge event, which signifies the platform’s shift from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) in 2022.

Google Cloud and Web3 startup Orderly Network collaborated in 2023 to reduce the entry barrier into the decentralized world by developing user-centric developer tools for decentralized finance (DeFi).

The partnership’s objective was to tackle the primary obstacles that have plagued the DeFi ecosystem for an extended period of time: barriers to entry and security concerns.


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