Google Play will accept NFTs in wallets

Another interesting crypto news concerning Google: after Google Cloud’s Bitcoin support, now comes the acceptance of NFTs in wallets on Google Play. 

The news was published on the official blog of Android developers, with an article titled “Enabling New Blockchain-Based Experiences on Google Play.” 

Google Play and NFTs supported in wallets

Google Play is Google’s platform through which Android apps are distributed. 

Just as on the Apple Store, it has policies that until recently effectively prevented app developers from integrating crypto services outside of those provided by industry players, such as exchanges. 

However, with yesterday’s article, Google Play declares that these limitations have been partly revised and removed. 

In fact, they officially announce that they are updating their rules to open up new ways to transact blockchain-based digital content within apps and games. 

They give the explicit example of user loyalty through NFT rewards, saying they are enthusiastic about seeing creative in-app experiences flourish so much that they want to help developers expand their businesses with these new technologies.

They also point out that Google Play already hosts a variety of blockchain-related apps, but they also know that their partners are looking forward to being able to expand these offerings to create more engaging digital experiences through tokenized digital assets such as NFTs

They state: 

“Like with any emerging technology, we must balance innovation with our responsibility to protect users. So, we’ve spoken with developers about responsibly supporting those opportunities while continuing to provide a safe, transparent, and trusted experience for everyone.”

The change in attitude

This is for all intents and purposes a shift in attitude, from extremely cautious to cautious. It may not sound like much, but it could mark a momentous shift, especially if it is followed by real integrations of digital assets within widely used apps.

For example, apps, and especially games, will be allowed to sell or allow users to earn tokenized digital assets, as long as the developers state this blatantly and explicitly. 

This very opening could constitute a small revolution of sorts, because NFTs are perfect for integration within online digital games as exchangeable collectibles or as rewards for players. 

What’s more, they say in the official statement that they are also talking with industry partners to further improve support for blockchain-based apps, including in areas such as secondary marketplaces. 

The possible integrations

All of this suggests that the current opening is just the beginning of a series of possible openings that could eventually lead to cryptocurrency integration into apps such as Google Pay. 

For example, the statement quotes the verbatim words of Reddit’s Senior Engineering Manager, Matt Williamson, who says that Reddit believes in a responsible approach to blockchain-based digital content, such as collectible avatars. 

Indeed, Reddit is one of the partners that has been working with Google regarding such a Google Play policy update, and has recently enjoyed tremendous success with its own NFT Avatars. 

In particular, the greatest potential that seems to be emerging for these kinds of integrations is that related to so-called Play-to-Earn, or the possibility of offering game users the ability to earn money by playing games. 

In theory this is virtually enormous potential, not least because the digital games market is already a huge one. 

However, it should not stop there. Indeed, in addition to the integrations that are made possible by this policy change, there may also be other policy changes in the future that could encourage further integrations. 

Since the barrier that prevented crypto tools from being used to make money for app users seems to have fallen, the shift from NFTs to fungible tokens does not seem all that large. Moreover, crypto exchange apps are already in existence, including those of non-custodial crypto wallets. 

Everything seems ready for the integration of crypto wallets within more or less any app, or at any rate to make crypto wallets and apps of any kind interoperable with each other. 

At this point, crypto transactions between apps could even become dominant in the future, compared to fiat currency transactions, because they are much less technically problematic and also allow micropayments. 

The way seems to have been paved. All that remains now is to see who will embark on it.