Cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinbase Global (COIN 8.59%) just struck a partnership with Google and its parent company, Alphabet (GOOG 0.72%) (GOOGL 0.83%). This deal is a two-way street, where each partner is making a serious commitment to the other. Coinbase is moving its cloud-based operations from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the Google Cloud platform. In return, Google Cloud and its clients will use Coinbase's tools to process crypto-based payments.

This is a win-win-win situation, where perhaps the biggest winner of all is the global community of crypto-focused developers. As a shareholder of both Coinbase and Alphabet, I'm thrilled to see these companies taking this big step together. Here's what it all means for investors on both sides of the agreement.

How the partnership will work

At first glance, Coinbase looks like the primary winner here. That's the conclusion Wall Street reached on Tuesday, letting Alphabet's two stocks close 0.7% lower while Coinbase ended the day of the announcement 4.7% higher. And the market reaction makes sense. After all, Alphabet is the larger company by far, with annual revenue 50 times Coinbase's. Any move that helps Coinbase tap into Google's and Alphabet's massive business has to be more helpful to the smaller partner.

On the other hand, Coinbase arguably provides more valuable and unique assets to this agreement than its larger companion. Switching from one leading cloud platform to another isn't much of a challenge, and I'm sure Microsoft could fill the same role as Google Cloud and AWS through its Azure platform.

But the Coinbase Commerce cryptocurrency payments service puts a brand new tool in Big G's digital toolbelt, and it would be both costly and difficult to build a comparable service from the ground up. There are other crypto payment services on the market, but few can match Coinbase's market reach and experience. Furthermore, Google Cloud users can now use public blockchain data through the BigQuery data-mining toolkit -- running directly on Coinbase Cloud Nodes with instant access to the backbone networks of major cryptocurrencies. App developers will love this easy access to important blockchain data.

From this point of view, Coinbase gives a more valuable helping hand than Google ever could.

Why this agreement is a big deal for Google

When all is said and done, Coinbase just gained a new revenue stream as crypto-based payments for Google Cloud services will pass through Coinbase for a fee. At the same time, Google Cloud took one more step into the world of blockchain ledgers and cryptocurrencies, paving the road toward a fuller Web 3.0 experience.

That's an important development, and Google deserves kudos for embracing the Web 3.0 vision. In my eyes, this is a lot like Netflix taking charge of the streaming media idea even though it meant abandoning the DVD-mailer rentals that defined the company in its first decade.

I'm not joking. Google's cash machine is powered by the first two iterations of the internet, starting with read-only web pages and evolving into social media conversations. Google helps people find the information they want in these well-worn systems, wrapping the experience in targeted digital advertising.

A fully realized Web 3.0 would spell the end of Google's current business model. Thanks to the flexible nature of blockchain systems, content producers will be able to take direct ownership of their ideas. Earning money from the articles, videos, games, and other media you create will be simpler. Intermediaries like Google's AdSense service will eventually play a lesser role in monetizing original ideas, undermining Google's main revenue stream.

That's not a threat -- it's an opportunity

Google saw the light at the end of the tunnel, realized it was an oncoming bullet train, and is doing its best to embrace this unstoppable change. For that simple reason, I'm convinced that Google gets more than it gives in this partnership. Coinbase's upside is more immediate, but you're looking at a fundamental shift in Google's business plan here.

So if you have been worried about Alphabet's long-term value in a Web 3.0 world, this Coinbase contract should allay those fears. This company isn't afraid to explore drastically different business ideas. That's exactly what I love the most about Google's business operations and Alphabet's stock. Whatever punches the world may throw at the company, Alphabet can absorb them and turn them into an advantage.