Business 6 February 2019Erik Gibbs
Google could be developing a blockchain search engine
Google is reportedly working on a tool that would facilitate searches on blockchain data. According to an article on Forbes, Google Cloud senior developer advocate Allen Day is quietly spearheading a project that seeks to incorporate Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) blockchains into Google’s BigQuery data platform. Ultimately, any data stored on the blockchains would be searchable using Google’s massive search engine capabilities.
Currently, searching blockchains requires the use of a block explorer. These explorers are capable of retrieving data on a specific individual transaction number and Day’s efforts look to expand on those capabilities. The project, Blockchain ETL (extract, transform, load), would allow an entire blockchain to be searched.
The platform, which began development last year, has already received considerable accolades from those familiar with it. This positive response is generating a greater amount of enthusiasm for the project and is fueling efforts to create an entire suite of tools to be used in conjunction with the blockchain searches. Now, after not giving Blockchain ETL any publicity, there have already been more than 500 projects created using the in-progress suite of tools, which include price predictions and wealth disparity among ETH wallets, among other capabilities.
Day and has team are looking to include other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash ABC, to BigQuery. Beyond just searching for blockchain entries, though, Blockchain ETL can also be used to analyze historical data, such as BTC’s hard fork of 2017. According to Day, “I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the legitimate use cases are for blockchain. Then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.”
The entire Ripple blockchain has also been added to BigQuery. Last year, Dutch developer Wietse Wind included the blockchain, leading Danish researcher Thomas Silkjaer to be able to publicly map the entire network, down to individual wallet addresses.
Google hasn’t been as active in the blockchain space as other big-name tech companies. Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle have already released tools that allow for the creation and management of blockchains; however, the company is quickly ramping up its efforts and is actively assisting in mainstream adoption.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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