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Google Expands Search Capabilities to Include Crypto Wallet Balances


Apr 14, 2024

Google's Progressive Crypto Features Expansion

Google's Enhanced Crypto Wallet Search Features

Google has recently upgraded its search capabilities, allowing users to search for crypto wallet balances across various blockchains, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Avalanche, Optimism, Polygon, and Fantom.

This enhancement empowers users to simply enter a wallet address and gain insights into the token balance categorized by the network and the timestamp of the latest update.

Google's Progressive Crypto Features Expansion

Google's journey in enhancing its crypto-related features started with the introduction of Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain search results, enabling users to verify wallet balances using user-friendly domain names like "vitalik.eth" for Ethereum wallet addresses.

Streamlining Crypto Wallet Balance Searches

The expansion of Google's crypto search features began with Ethereum wallet balance searches in the previous year. In May 2023, Google introduced a feature enabling the tracking of specific Ethereum wallet addresses' Ether (ETH) balances directly within the search engine, eliminating the need for platforms like Etherscan. This expansion was made possible through the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), offering human-readable domains linked to Ethereum wallets, such as example.eth. Users can now search for an ENS domain in Google's search results, and the associated wallet balance and blockchain address information will be displayed, sourced from Etherscan with the latest transaction details.

Inclusive Blockchain Wallet Searches

In addition to Ethereum, Google has broadened its features to include wallet balance searches across multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism, Polygon, and Fantom. The search results provide comprehensive token balance details per network, including the timestamp of the last update.

Google's Shift in Cryptocurrency Approach

Google's inclusion of wallet searches signifies a shift in its approach to cryptocurrencies. While the company previously prohibited Bitcoin-related advertisements in 2018, it has now reversed this policy, allowing advertisements for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) following their approval in January.

Noteworthy ETF products from asset managers are now visible in search results, providing users with access to three Bitcoin address formats—P2PKH, P2SH, and Bech32—to view current balances and recent transactions. This integration of Bitcoin data enhances Google's accessibility to on-chain activity, leveraging its extensive daily search volume. However, it's important to note that this service may not be universally available to all users, as some have reported inconsistent visibility of the feature in search results.

Privacy Concerns and Policy Updates

Privacy-focused Bitcoin supporters have expressed concerns about centralized data aggregation and its potential impact on user privacy. This raises a broader discussion about balancing convenience with privacy in the crypto space.

Google's Updated Crypto Ad Policy

Google has recently updated its crypto ad policy to include promotions for approved Bitcoin ETFs and cryptocurrency coin trust products. This policy change aligns with the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, allowing investors to trade shares in a fund holding Bitcoin as the underlying asset. Google's vast advertising network, with a turnover exceeding $224 billion, is expected to attract more investors, offering accessible investment options to the public.

This policy shift marks a significant change from Google's previous stance on crypto-related ads, where a complete ban was imposed in March 2018. The ban encompassed ads for crypto exchanges, ICO promotions, and crypto trading advice globally across all advertising accounts, mirroring a similar ban by Facebook.

By continually enhancing its search features and adapting ad policies, Google is actively participating in the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency accessibility and investment opportunities.

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