Google Cloud has appointed the former CEO of a recently bankrupt crypto lending firm BlockFi to lead its Web3 initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region.
The appointment comes as Google moves further into the cryptocurrency sector, with an increasing focus on blockchain technology and web3 applications.
Previously, Rishi Ramchandi was responsible for the Asian region at crypto lender BlockFi, which declared bankruptcy in November following FTX’s collapse.
According to a post on LinkedIn on Tuesday, Google Cloud Managing Director Mitesh Agarwal disclosed that Ramchandi had been hired by Google following his departure from BlockFi earlier this month.
Before working at BlockFi for two years, Ramchandi held positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (now BofA Securities) for nearly a decade, primarily in global equity portfolio sales. Additionally, he is one of the founders of PinAlpha, an AI-powered FinTech platform for analyzing financial data.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment from Ramchandi and Agarwal.
After the collapses of the stablecoin Terra-Luna, Three Arrows Capital fund, and others rattled the industry in July half a year ago, FTX provided BlockFi with a $400 million credit to help the company withstand the storm. After that, BlockFi was purchased outright by the exchange for up to $240 million.
In a statement a day before FTX filed for bankruptcy, BlockFi warned that it couldn’t do business as usual as the situation around FTX and its affiliated company Alameda Research, a trading firm founded by FTX CEO Bankman-Fried, was uncertain.
Sam Wellalage, founder of WorkInCrypto.Global, mentioned in November that FTX and BlockFi executives he spoke with desired to remain in the Web3 sector, pointing out that recent crypto company failures ultimately could prove beneficial to the sector.
The CEO of Alphabet, the company that owns Google, confirmed previously this year that the company looked closely at blockchain, referring to it as “an interesting and powerful technology with broad applications.”
In May, the Google Cloud division announced it formed a team dedicated to building services for blockchain developers.
Additionally, Google Cloud rolled out the Blockchain Node Engine service in October to host nodes for Web3 developers. It is intended to help developers create and deploy applications and platforms based on blockchain technology, primarily on the Ethereum network.
Last month, Google Cloud tweeted that they were teaming up with Solana in order to integrate Blockchain Node Engine with this blockchain platform.
The move by Google Cloud into Web3 infrastructure coincides with Amazon’s Managed Blockchain service, which has provided Ethereum nodes services from 2021 onward.