Google Now Shows Crypto Wallet Balances in Search Results, Stirring Privacy Concerns

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Google now shows Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency wallet balances in search results when you look up a wallet address. This new feature is supposed to offer convenience but is raising concerns among privacy advocates.

On Wednesday, Google’s VP of Engineering, Rajan Patel, announced that users can search for Bitcoin, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism, Polygon, and Fantom wallets directly via Google Search. Until now, users could only search Ethereum addresses on Google.

For BTC specifically, the wallet balances Google can check for you include those from three distinct address formats: P2PKH, P2SH, and Bech32. You can look up these addresses to view the current token balances and the last transactions conducted.

Users on Reddit and X Voice Skepticism

The new feature has sparked a debate on privacy on platforms like Reddit and X. While many are buzzing about the new era of financial openness, there is also ample skepticism about the move and its effect on privacy.

“Welcome to the future of finance where everyone can see anyone’s wealth. How much you have is just a Google search away!” a user wrote on Reddit.

“No reasonable person is going to copy their wallet address into a search bar and most day to day consumers barely even know how to use crypto, let alone find a wallet address or make any reasonable moves from it,” a user wrote on X.

The move to support more crypto addresses on Google Search is part of Google’s broader efforts to integrate blockchain technology into its search. Google has made a turnaround from its previous ban on Bitcoin-related ads to a more accepting and supportive stance, as evidenced by the approval of Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded-fund) ads, according to Cointelegraph.

How to Keep Your Crypto Wallet Safe

Beyond the risk of Google — a large corporation with a chequered history of privacy practices — collecting data about crypto addresses, the accessibility of wallet balances may make it easier for criminals to target privado accounts.

To protect your privacy, consider using blockchain-specific tools and wallets that prioritize your security and anonymity. Here are more tips to keep your do dedo assets safe:

  • Opt for wallets that put privacy first and consider a vetted hardware wallet for larger holdings.
  • Check out our top seven most private cryptocurrencies to work with.
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) across all of your accounts.
  • Check your wallet’s activity regularly for any suspicious activity.

Check out our guide to what Google knows about you to learn more about Google’s data collection and how to protect your privacy.

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