Monday, January 30, 2023
  • All one has to do is type in their Ethereum wallet address, and Google will return a result with the balance
  • The functionality is currently not available for all Ethereum wallets
  • No other details of the Ethereum wallet address will be returned, so you will not have access to a person’s details and other data through Google

In a recent development, Google made it possible to confirm the balances of some Ether wallets right in Google search. The function was already available via the Etherscan platform, but Google now searches Etherscan for you. This development and Google’s recent partnership with Coinbase allowed crypto payments for cloud services read as signs of Google bringing cryptocurrency into the fold. Detractors questioned the absence of this function for Bitcoin balances.

All one has to do is type in the Ethereum wallet address, and Google will return a result with the balance. The functionality is currently not available for all Ethereum wallets, but we will consider that it is just the early days of a phased approach. Google brought verification to Google search just after the Ethereum merge, where it moved from a Proof of work to a proof of stake blockchain.

Google brings about Privacy concerns

No other details of the Ethereum wallet address will be returned, so you will not have access to a person’s details and other data through Google.  Privacy is, of course, a huge concern when we are dealing with people’s accounts and wallets. It doesn’t end with seeing details of wallets. Some people have brought up concerns about Google selling wallet data to advertisers and tracking activity. This is a topical issue with online advertising of late, and many worry that this scourge could cross over into the cryptocurrency world.

Great for Ethereum, but what about Bitcoin

Bitcoin is, without a doubt, the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, and I believe we are one step short of Bitcoin becoming the name for all crypto like Coca-Cola has done worldwide for soft drinks. Questions as to why Google did not make this function available for Bitcoin has dominated the news. Stephen Cole, a well-known Angel investor, went as far as tweeting, “Does Google not know about Bitcoin?”

Of course, Ethereum addresses are public, and the ability to see their balances, interactions and some transacting history have been available for quite some time. So just to be clear, Google is not pioneering the verification of Ethereum wallets but rather doing what an aggregator does; aggregating information that is already out there.

The function is available for Bitcoin wallets via many platforms like  Cointracker, Blockhain.com, Blockonomics, and BitRef, amongst others. So the question is one of why Google has not (yet) aggregated data from these platforms and enables looking up Bitcoin wallet balances the same way they have aggregated Ethereum wallet balances.

How to check Ethereum balance on Google

The news should be treated with excitement because it is advancing the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. Google search is monolithic and is one of the few companies that can claim to be truly global. Secondly, the Ethereum blockchain is very important to the world of cryptocurrency with its smart contracts and decentralized apps. And while there are concerns about advertising and selling data, let’s not forget that not too long ago, Facebook banned cryptocurrency advertising amid scams hiding behind cryptocurrency to fleece people of their money.

By now, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are normalizing celebrating small wins. Firstly, the pace of adoption for anything, no matter how good it is, takes time. Secondly, a win for one cryptocurrency is a win for cryptocurrency as a whole. It doesn’t seem like that at first, but this is the reality. To borrow a reference, this is one small step for Ethereum, one big step for cryptocurrency.

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