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Google Introduces Bitcoin Wallet Balances in Search, Sparks Debate

With this feature, users can now search for three Bitcoin address formats, P2PKH, P2SH, and Bech32, and promptly access the current balances and recent transactions linked to those addresses.

In the latest development, tech giant Google announced that it’s expanding search engine capabilities allowing users to easily monitor their crypto wallet balances just by entering the wallet’s address. As part of this development, Google will support several different blockchains such as Bitcoin, Avalanche, Arbitrum, Polygon, Optimism, and Fantom.

The feature not only displays the native token balance of a wallet for each supported network but also indicates the most recent update time, offering users near real-time visibility into their cryptocurrency holdings.

For each supported network, this feature will display the native token balance of a wallet in addition to indicating the most recent update time. Thus, Google will offer users real-time visibility into their crypto holdings.

Users will be able to search for three Bitcoin address formats, P2PKH, P2SH, and Bech32, and instantly access current balances and recent transactions associated with those addresses. By integrating Bitcoin data into search results, Google has enhanced its accessibility to on-chain activity, while simultaneously capitalizing on its vast daily search volume.

Users Raise Concern over Privacy

Although some users praised Google’s introduction of checking wallet balances instantly, some of the privacy-centric Bitcoin supporters raised concerns regarding this centralized data aggregation and its impact on privacy.

This update builds upon Google’s previous integration of Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains and represents a significant step forward for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Furthermore, it also enhances the accessibility and management of digital assets through the search platform.

Back in May 2023, Google introduced the Ethereum wallet balance searches. In the previous year 2022, Google also integrated a crypto feature allowing the Ethereum wallet addresses to check their Ether balances through the Google search engine.

The inclusion of wallet searches signals a change in the tech giant’s approach. Back in 2018, Google banned Bitcoin-related advertisements, only to reverse its decision recently. It now permits spot Bitcoin (BTC) tickers and advertisements for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) following their approval in the United States in January.

Search results on Google now feature ETF products from prominent asset managers such as BlackRock. Additionally, in October 2022, Google collaborated with Coinbase to enable its customers to use cryptocurrency for paying cloud services.

Furthermore, the tech firm also initiated a countdown during the Google Merge event back in September 2022 by featuring animated pandas. Similarly, last year in 2023, google Cloud joined hands with Web3 startup Ordely Network to build user-centric developer tools for DeFi. The goal was to reduce the entry barrier to this field.

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