Android devices now offer a blockchain-powered, decentralized search engine

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All new and factory-reset Android (opens in new tab) devices in the UK and Europe will now allow users to replace the default Google Search option with one of several others, including the blockchain (opens in new tab)-based, privacy-centric (opens in new tab) search engine Presearch.

Presearch says its private, decentralized search engine has than 2.3 million registered users and 1 million searches per day, which it claims is an increase of more than 300 percent since January 2021. 

“With Android running on about four-fifths of the world’s smartphones (opens in new tab) including hundreds of millions in Europe, we see this as a huge win in taking decentralized services and blockchain mainstream and driving mass adoption,” said Colin Pape, Founder of Presearch. 

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Presearch is a decentralized search engine that employs geographically dispersed nodes to process search queries. In return, Presearch offers the node operators rewards through Ethereum (opens in new tab)-based PRE tokens.

Penalizing Google

The move to enable Android users to choose their default search engine follows a 2018 decision by the European Commission to impose a fine of €4.3 billion on Google (opens in new tab) for misusing Android to increase its search engine market share.  

As a result, Google, earlier this year, announced it would increase the number of search providers on its default settings page. 

Starting September 1, 2021, Android devices will list the five most popular eligible search engines in each European Union country, in random order, at the top of the Android choice screen. These will be followed by up to seven additional search engines at the bottom.

Pape believes the move could help Presearch potentially gain millions of new users, which he sees as one of the biggest wins for any project in the crypto space.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.