Alphabet's (GOOGL 0.66%) (GOOG 0.69%) success over the past couple of decades is the result of pushing innovation to its limits and embracing new technologies. This year, the parent of Google kept that trend going and is exploring a new frontier traditionally avoided by its big tech counterparts. Blockchains, cryptocurrency, and big tech haven't typically mixed well in the past.
That is until this year.
One of the more notable collaborations between big tech and crypto you may have heard about was Meta launching non-fungible token (NFT) compatibility on Instagram. But what Google is doing makes Meta's move look meager.
In 2022, Google announced a handful of developments that show the tech giant is well aware of blockchain technology's potential and that there is a growing need to bridge the traditional tech industry with Web3.
To facilitate this, Google said it would launch a cloud-based solution tailored for blockchains. The product is similar to their existing Google Cloud solution that businesses and companies use to store and analyze data without needing physical on-site servers or staff to manage the data infrastructure. But now, Google is taking it a step further.
Big tech meets crypto
Before Google's Blockchain Node Engine was released, developers would have to deploy their own node on the blockchain they were working with. Without getting into too much detail, deploying a node can be time-consuming and costly. Some existing solutions make this process a little easier. However, with the Blockchain Node Engine, developers have access to a suite of products that enable them to spend less time worrying about node maintenance and upkeep so that they can focus on the development of their smart contracts.
In the original announcement of the Blockchain Node Engine, Ethereum (ETH 2.06%) was the lone blockchain to be supported. But last week, at a conference in Lisbon, Solana (SOL -1.47%), the Ethereum-competing smart contract blockchain, said it would be added to the Blockchain Node Engine in 2023.
Even though Web3 aims to be a new age of the internet that reduces the need for big tech companies and prioritizes the use of decentralized infrastructure, Google's embrace of bridging Web2 and Web3 is a novel and necessary innovation that could produce two investment opportunities.
First, Google's development of Web3 infrastructure will likely position the company as a leader in Web3 even though it has derived its success from the fruits of Web2. Roughly 91% of all internet searches use Google, which drives its primary source of profits -- advertisements.
Alphabet also owns YouTube, which is the second-most visited site on the internet and is on pace to generate nearly $30 billion in revenue this year. When considering Alphabet's domination of Web2 doesn't seem to be going anywhere and that now it is taking a stab at blockchain development, the company is a screaming buy with its stock down more than 35% this year.
Second, Google's blockchain infrastructure development could spur further development among its competitors as the Web3 arms race heats up. As more Web2 companies look to remain competitive by creating blockchain-capable solutions, cryptocurrencies themselves could likely benefit the most.
Popular cryptos like Ethereum and Solana that already have extensive developer ecosystems seem to be immediate benefactors of this growing trend. Ethereum is down more than 65% this year. Solana has taken a beating and is down more than 90% year to date.
But as bad as this may sound, there is hope. If big tech companies prioritize the development of these blockchains, the price decimation of this year should be viewed as a buying opportunity that could produce returns well into the future as Web3 continues to grow -- even if it is thanks to the help of some Web2 veterans.