Google Cloud confirms participation in EigenLayer testnet

Exclusive: Google Cloud joined more than 65 other operators in the group as the restaking protocol eyes a mainnet deployment for node operators in the first half of 2024


Google’s head of strategy and web, Rich Widmann | Permissionless II by Blockworks


Google Cloud has joined EigenLayer’s “Operator Working Group” alongside more than 65 other operators and solo stakers, a representative for EigenLabs, the developer behind EigenLayer, told Blockworks. 

Google Cloud Web3 now appears as a node operator on the Goerli testnet for EigenLayer — a restaking protocol that lets ether (ETH) be staked on multiple platforms at once. Google Cloud confirmed the cloud computing service’s participation in EigenLayer’s testnet in an email to Blockworks. 

Google Cloud declined to comment on whether it has plans to move to EigenLayer’s mainnet or if the protocol would be added to Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine.

EigenLabs also couldn’t confirm whether Google Cloud would remain as a node operator once node operation goes to mainnet. Representatives said they expect Google Cloud’s support to continue, since the goal of testnet is to prepare for mainnet.

EigenLayer went live for stakers, who earn rewards by locking in their staked ether, in June. Operators, who enhance security and allow stakers to delegate assets, are still in testnet. 

EigenLayer has said it expects mainnet deployment to happen in the first half of 2024.

Google Cloud, the cloud computing service offered by Google, has been on a steady march into Web3 since Bloomberg first reported Google’s creation of a blockchain division in January 2022.

Later that year, Google Cloud released the Blockchain Node Engine, a service meant to let developers run blockchain network nodes more easily. Google Cloud launched a web3 startup program in April 2023.

Google Cloud showed an interest in staking before the EigenLayer integration, becoming a Polygon validator in September. The investment was minimal from the tech giant, though: Google Cloud has the second-smallest stake out of more than 100 validators. 

The cross-chain protocol LayerZero partnered with Google Cloud in September 2023, with the company becoming LayerZero’s default oracle to verify transactions across blockchains. 

Google Cloud’s move into Web3 has not been without controversy, with some seeing the behemoth cloud computing service’s presence as a strike against decentralization.

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