Google’s ad for its new product ‘Call Screen’, where it pokes fun at crypto mining, stating that the activity costs more in energy than the profit it makes. Google Call Screen ad says that cryptocurrencies are ‘money that isn’t real’, suggesting that it would be foolish to mine coins for revenue.
It is surprising that a company of Google’s standing would publicly show this level of skepticism towards crypto and blockchain, says Stefania Barbaglio, crypto PR expert and founder of Cassiopeia Services: “It demonstrates superficial knowledge of the crypto space, showing that Google is clueless about the potential behind crypto.”
It is well-known that Bitcoin mining consumes a lot of energy, so it is not a profitable activity for the average individual. However, the crypto market is filled with altcoins designed differently from Bitcoin in this respect. At this point, taking Bitcoin as the flagship cryptocurrency shows little knowledge of and disregard for today’s fast-growing, diverse crypto market.
Fundamentally, Bitcoin was developed in proof-of-work (PoW), a process that requires considerable energy to be completed. However, the newer generations of coins employ proof-of-stake (PoS), which is less energy consuming, giving increasing advantage for individual miners. To mention only a few such altcoins: Cardano works on proof-of-stake (PoS) and now Ethereum is about to move to its Casper proof-of-stake model which will reduce mining competition and the like substantially; NEO and Hyperledger are the next-generation coins with even lower electricity costs and related carbon footprints. Cryptocurrencies are evolving and making their system more efficient in the process.
In any case, even the expensive Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining is overall much cheaper than the traditional banking system as a whole. Moreover, crypto is more than just digital money. The blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies has proved to be a game-changer, challenging the established way of doing business and transactions, taking away the central power from big institutions while empowering individuals with greater access to and control over their own transactions.
“Google is a centralised system: it wants to protect themselves or show that its centralized worldwide data system is still the leader. Unfortunately, we have reached a tipping point with blockchain shifting the power paradigm of centralization to decentralisation. What smart tech companies should do is to adopt forward-thinking, inclusive strategies to integrate these new technologies into their systems” she says.
The role of some cryptocurrencies is to facilitate transactions without traditional money and the associated banking system, allowing wider access, fighting inflation and reducing third-party fees. Some cryptocurrencies are indeed used as if they were money to pay for goods and services
Stefania also highlights that Google’s stand on blockchain and crypto does not affect the crypto community; f anything, it suggests Google’s limited knowledge of the crypto space and its opportunities.
Earlier this year, Google first banned Chrome browser mining plug-ins, and then all cryptocurrency ads form its platform with the aim of protecting its customers from potential scams and misleading services that could be found in the crypto space.
A new policy in action from October 2018 is reversing part of this ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising allowing regulated crypto exchanges to buy ads in the United States and Japan. But, what does that mean? Who is deciding which ads to ban and which not, if Google is clueless about crypto?
The Call screen ad may represents a controversial move by Google, just days after it reversed part of its ban on crypto ads, when the company signalled a friendlier move towards crypto.
’Google realised how big the crypto market is, and the opportunity they would be missing out on if they weren’t flexible – that’s why they had to revert their ban on crypto ads,’ says Stefania.