'Google Bucks' Never Paid Off, Schmidt Recalls

Google at one point considered issuing its own currency, to be called Google Bucks, said the company's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Schmidt recalled the erstwhile Google currency plan during a Q&A session with the audience following his MWC keynote speech.

The idea was to implement a peer-to-peer money system, he said. But Google discovered that the concept is illegal in most countries. Governments are wary that such schemes create opportunities for money-laundering, he explained.

"Ultimately we decided we didn't want to get into that because of these issues," Schmidt said.

Addressing other matters, he hinted that Google might be preparing for a battle in China once its acquisition of Motorola is complete. "Google's been willing to take on China," he said in response to a question about whether Google expects to continue to ignore theft of Motorola intellectual property in China, as Motorola had been doing.

Noting that the acquisition hasn't closed yet, Schmidt said, "We've taken a pretty strong position on IP. We are well aware of the issues."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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