Maybe it was only a matter of months. Sooner or later, even Google would have succumbed to the discreet appeal of cryptocurrency. The Mountain View group is not the first big to take an interest in Bitcoin and company. For months, in fact, several billionaire celebrities from the great American Big Tech circus have been dedicating part of their energy to the crypto challenge. To name two: Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey. Now Google opens up to crypto-payments, through the Google Pay platform. The Bitcoin-mania experienced by the markets in 2021 does not seem to want to stop. Although volatility remains an issue. Not to mention the crypto-bans of some great powers, China and Russia in pole position.
Alphabet – the name of the holding that controls Google – has hired “former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg, with the task of leading the payments division and starting a new course for the group’s business after the false start in banking.” Three lines of a press release signed by the most famous web search engine in history were enough to announce what could be one of the most important financial news of 2022. Very soon, Google will accept the use of cryptocurrencies. Yes, because the manager who has just landed in Mountain View is not just any ‘purchase’. Goldberg has long led PayPal’s Merchant Business, which is the division that deals with payments and electronic cards.
And in fact, said the vice president of Google Bill Ready, the arrival of Goldberg will serve to multiply the financial options available to users. To be precise, on Google Pay, one of the most used platforms in the world for payments – we are talking about over 100 million users – it will be possible to connect credit cards that refer to accounts in cryptocurrencies. All thanks to a close partnership from Big Tech with some of the most important players in the sector such as Coinbase, BitPay and Gemini. A move that, according to Bloomberg, was inevitable.
Also because compared to Apple Pay – the main competitor, with almost 230 million users – Google Pay has not yet made that qualitative leap necessary to be truly competitive in the digital payments sector. Indeed, unlike their rivals from Cupertino, they have not yet equipped themselves with their own credit card. In short, a real revolution, given that the entire Alphabet group has always kept away from crypto. “Our customers have asked us to evolve. And we will evolve, ”added Ready. “But Google is not a bank and it won’t be in the future.” At least for now.
The Mountain View breakthrough is just the latest confirmation of how much Bitcoin and company have gained their importance in contemporary finance. In addition to having become real social network trends. On Twitter, the most famous crypto fan is Elon Musk. The South African billionaire has long been at the top of the rankings of the richest men in the world, tied with Jeff Bezos. Indeed, let’s clarify: Musk is not just a supporter of cryptographic coins. He is a pioneer.
Starting from that time, in February a year ago, in which he announced the purchase of 1.5 billion dollars in Bitcoin and the possibility of buying Tesla cars directly in cryptocurrency. Except then, after a series of new announcements and sensational reverse, prohibit the use of the crypto created by Satoshi Nakamoto and open, a few days ago, transactions with Dogecoin, considered by Musk to be more sustainable and above all less polluting. Of course, from what is known, it will not be possible to buy the latest Model Y with the coin depicting the iconic Shiba dog, currently traded on exchanges at just over ten cents per token. On sale, for a few hundred doge, however, there are gadgets, clothing and even a cyber-quad for children, obviously electric.
Despite the change in progress, Musk has made it clear that crypto-currencies will remain central in the coming years. Indeed, switching to Dogecoin gave a strong signal: better a less volatile crypto, with a low value, capable of stimulating consumption, and not one – like Bitcoin – which seems to be a speculative asset more than a currency. Especially if its value remains characterized by strong volatility. The trend of the last few weeks is, as they say, a plastic example of this reasoning.
In November, Bitcoin reached a record high of $ 68,000 per token. Today, it travels exactly in the middle, at 34,000. A deadweight loss of 50 percent of its value. In less than three months. The same goes for other cryptocurrencies: Ethereum went from $ 4100 to $ 2100 in sixty days. Solana records losses of 30 percent. And so on. Coinmarketcup estimates an overall loss, for the crypto market, of as much as 205 billion dollars in a single day, last Friday. The motivations? The increase in the number of countries banning cryptocurrencies, most recently Russia.
However, crypto-volatility does not seem to frighten excessively other visionary entrepreneurs, as in the case of Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, who recently resigned from the leadership of the social network he led for almost fifteen years. Always interested in entering the world of payments, Dorsey co-founded the Square platform in 2009. Recently, in the wake of rival Zuckerberg’s change of brand with Meta, Square was renamed Block. For the past few weeks, Dorsey has been a major sponsor of Bitcoin. Before stating publicly, in a tweet, that cryptocurrencies are even destined to replace the dollar.
Then, just a few days ago, the last endorsment. Dorsey has announced the birth of the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization that will offer legal and financial support to the developers of the cryptographic currency in the event of theft and fraud against them. The framework of the initiative is not yet very clear, but the idea is to put pressure on political and financial institutions to develop more in-depth international regulation of the crypto world. In short: Google, Musk and Dorsey. Despite not enjoying the best of health, Bitcoin continues its race towards real legitimacy. And if it collects the green light of the Big Tech, it is well advanced.