Google Labs is working on blockchain, distributed computing

Last November, Google created a new division focused on “high-potential, long-term projects” like augmented reality. Google Labs now has a team working on blockchain and other related technologies.

According to Bloomberg, this new group within Google Labs focuses on “blockchain and other next-generation distributed computing and data storage technologies.” Shivakumar Venkataraman, Vice President of Engineering who worked on advertising infrastructure and payment systems for more than a decade, will be in the lead.

The report cites a source as saying that “the unit working on blockchain is relatively small compared to other product areas at Google.” In the end, this work sounds more research oriented, with infrastructure implications for sprawling network and enterprise storage needs, rather than being consumer-focused.

Google Labs is supposed to work on “long-term technology projects that directly support [its] basic products and activities. Besides blockchain, other well-known efforts include augmented reality and the Area 120 incubator that unleashes consumer apps and other small businesses.

It comes as Google’s head of commerce said today that it was looking into cryptocurrencies, but had no immediate news on whether its payment service would eventually accept them for transactions.

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