January 30, 2023

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Google hires former BlockFi exec for Web3

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A former executive at troubled crypto lender BlockFi has taken a role at Alphabet Inc.’s Google to work on Web3.

Rishi Ramchandani, who was BlockFi’s vice president for Asia from June 2020 through this month, is stepping in as APAC Web3 Lead at Google, according to his LinkedIn profile as well as a post on the social-media site from Mitesh Agarwal, a managing director at Google focusing on its cloud service customers, partner engineering and a Web3-related effort.

Google Cloud aims to enable the Web3 ecosystem—which encompasses companies looking to build new web uses and applications on blockchain technology—by supporting development, transactions, storage and deployment of new products, a spokesperson said via email last month. Its customers include top cryptocurrency and Web3-related outfits including Coinbase Global Inc., Dapper Labs Inc., Sky Mavis Inc., Nansen and Hedera, the spokesperson said.

BlockFi filed for bankruptcy last month after the rapid collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire including exchange FTX and trading shop Alameda Research. It sold about $239 million of crypto and warned almost 250 workers that they’d lose their jobs in the leadup to that event. A lawyer for BlockFi said it will try to collect about $680 million it is owed by a part of Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto universe.