|Mark Zuckerberg has been on a roll lately. On the heels of last week’s $2 billion Oculus purchase, Facebook’s founder announced today a behind-the-scenes partnership with Google. What has been the big secret? G-Bank, a first-of-its-kind online bank that accepts the virtual currency, Bitcoin, exclusively, and a venture Zuckerberg is partially funding himself.
With major sites like Overstock and TigerDirect.com now accepting bitcoins, it only makes sense that Google would swoop in to facilitate users’ growing need for bitcoin banking services. At the forefront of online innovation and looking to further diversify his investments, Mark Zuckerberg makes the perfect partner to back the venture and provide guidance as G-Bank adapts to evolving customer needs.
Google Finally Confirms Bitcoin Rumors
Earlier this year, rumors swirled that Google was becoming involved in the business of Bitcoin when a Reddit user posted an e-mail conversation between himself and head of Google+,Vic Gundotra, which implied Google was pursuing options for integrating Bitcoin payment processing.
SVP for Ads and Commerce at Google, Sridhar Ramaswamy, was copied on the chain and responded, “We are working in the payments team to figure out how to incorporate Bitcoin into our plans.”
However, Google spokespeople were quick to shoot down talks of any Bitcoin involvement, telling Forbes, “We have no current plans regarding Bitcoin.”
With the official launch of G-Bank by Google and Zuckerberg today, it’s now obvious the cat was simply let out of the bag early and Google didn’t want to confirm its involvement prior to the official announcement.
Is G-Bank Safe?
Given the anonymity of Bitcoin, as well as the major problems users have run into lately like the recent disappearance of more than $490 million worth of bitcoins from Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox, the question of whether G-Bank is safe has undoubtedly been raised by consumers and regulators alike.
G-Bank intends to solve these security issues, making bitcoins a more accessible currency to the general public. By integrating Bitcoin into Google Wallet and creating deposit accounts that accept the currency, Google will establish a much stronger authentication trail to each coin and even offer other standard protections found at traditional financial institutions such as dispute protection and FDIC insurance.
Starting to sound a little nuts? If this seems all to surreal to be true, it’s because it is. Google may be secretly working on Bitcoin integration, but it certainly hasn’t launched a bank, especially with Mark Zuckerberg.