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Google Tiptoes Into Crypto

“Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to,” says Google’s president of commerce Bill Ready.

Google Tiptoes Into Crypto
Shutterstock cover by Uladzik Kryhin

Key Takeaways

  • Google may be preparing for a foray into the world of cryptocurrency.
  • The company has hired a former PayPal executive and partnered with Coinbase and Bitpay.
  • The specifics of Google’s crypto plans are unclear, but its entry into the industry would have massive implications.

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Google has hired former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to run its payments division in a move geared toward broadening its users’ access to financial services, including cryptocurrencies. Despite historically shying away from crypto, now Google is more actively considering the industry, according to statements from the company’s president of commerce, Bill Ready.

Google Mulls Crypto Plans

Per Bloomberg today, Alphabet Inc.’s Google has hired a new vice president and general manager for its payments and emerging markets division, former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg.

The payments and emerging markets division is part of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative. Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce who himself used to be PayPal’s chief operating officer, emphasized that the hiring move was part of Google’s broader expansion into more financial services, including cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, Peeyush Ranjan has been promoted to general manager of Google’s consumer payments services. Ranjan is a Google engineer who spearheaded Google Pay’s expansion in India, which is the nation in which Google Pay has been the most successful. 

The company has also joined forces with crypto exchange Coinbase and digital currencies payment provider BitPay to allow users to store their crypto assets in “digital cards,” though users will still spend in fiat rather than crypto. Ready stated that Google has plans for more of these types of partnerships.

Despite the fact that Google still will not accept digital assets as payments, Ready emphasized that “crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to,” and that “as user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.” 

Though its crypto plans are still not fully fleshed out, Ready alluded to Google’s ambitions to the be ultimate connector of the entire consumer finance industry. 

In a perhaps unintentional ode to the promise of Web3, the executive said:

“Helping more activity occur on a free and open web—that naturally pays dividends to our overall business.” 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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