Google, Goldman Sachs And Citigroup Are Preparing For A Blockchain Future

Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG) is mostly known for its search engine. But it is also making significant investments into a blockchain future. (See also: Forget Bitcoin: Blockchain is the Future.)

According to a recent report published by research firm CB Insights, the Mountain View, California-based tech behemoth is the second-largest corporate investor in blockchain. Other prominent companies putting their money into blockchain technology include the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Citigroup Inc. (C). 

Google’s investment in blockchain spans a varied spectrum. It has invested in Storj-io, a decentralized cloud storage company, as well as payments network Ripple, which has rapidly gained traction in recent times. It is also a major investor in Veem, a payments service provider that uses bitcoin for money transfers, as well as Buttercoin, an open source digital trading engine to arrange trades in an order book.

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, on the other hand, are mostly focused on investing in outfits that develop payment service engines. For example, both companies are investors in Digital Asset Holdings, a company that provides services related to distributed ledger, a blockchain technology, to finance institutions. The world’s top blockchain investor, however, is SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial services company that inked a partnership with Ripple last year. 

To be sure, these companies are also exploring the uses of blockchain in internal projects. For example, Alphabet company DeepMind announced a project earlier this year to track usage of health care records. CB Insights states that corporate interest in blockchain is mostly focused on private blockchain development, with investment from the top 10 U.S. banks since 2014 hitting $267 million this year. (See also: JP Morgan Unveils Money Transfer Project.) 

Increased investment is no guarantee of success, however. According to the report, blockchain companies are failing at a higher rate as compared to other tech startups. Out of 103 blockchain companies with initial seed funding, only 28% made it to the next round and, only one - a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange - was able to sustain operations to Series D. Forty-six percent of all tech companies in other industries made it to the next round.

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