Google has partnered with Dapper Labs, the creator of the Flow blockchain and NFT marketplaces such as the NBA Top Shot. Google will help scale the Flow blockchain by allowing Flow nodes to run on a low-latency cloud service. The partnership was announced through a press release with Forbes.
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The Flow blockchain currently supports applications such as the NBA Top Shot, CryptoKitties, UFC collectibles, and more, which have experienced massive growth and usage over the past year. The partnership with Google will allow Flow developers to connect to lower response nodes that run on Google’s cloud services.
As blockchain becomes more mainstream, this partnership is all about helping Flow blockchain and dapper labs achieve sustainable growth, said Janet Kennedy, Vice President of Google Cloud North America.
“It’s really about helping them have rapid, sustainable growth,” Kennedy says. “Blockchain technology is becoming more pervasive. That is why companies like Dapper need a secure and scalable infrastructure to grow their businesses and, most importantly, support their networks.”
This multi-year partnership with Google does not mean that nodes operators on the Flow blockchain must use Google’s cloud services. They are still free to use Amazon Web Services or their own devices and network.
But Google has simplified the process of how Flow node operators integrate their node with Google’s cloud system. Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said today’s blockchain reflects in some ways what happened when people started to realize that the iPhone was the future of mobile phones.
“What you see today on the blockchain is the iPhone moment where consumers begin to understand what is happening,” says Gharegozlou. “There are plenty of opportunities to build everything from Flappy Bird to Angry Bird of Flow and blockchain in general.”
Dapper Labs is among the most successful companies taking advantage of the burgeoning NFT and cryptocurrency collection industry. While this new partnership with Google may have the scalability benefits of the Flow blockchain, there are also drawbacks to relying on one large company’s web services.
Bitcoin’s initial purpose was to have a system based on people and their primary computers. That way, if enough people are using it, it won’t matter if some people’s computers fail. While it may be more difficult to scale this system to allow for large amounts of transactions compared to a system running on fast Google servers, it poses less risks to centralization and downtime.
One report from 2019 showed that more than 60% of Ethereum nodes ran on cloud provided by companies like Amazon, Google, and others, and less than 40% of nodes were running “on-premises” or on-premises.
This is a bit hypocritical of blockchain claiming to be decentralized and without single points of failure. While it’s rare for Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud to shut down, it has and has happened. Not only that, but these companies also reserve the right to shut down servers whenever they want.
Google’s partnership with its Dapper Labs will help the Flow blockchain expand quickly and efficiently, but its users may want to be wary of how much of the network is operating within the Google cloud.
This story is developing.
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