Deutsche Telekom invests in Celo mobile blockchain

Fin Strathern reports on blockchain and cryptocurrencies for TechForge Media. You can connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/finstrathern/.

Telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom has invested in the mobile decentralised finance (DeFi) platform Celo.

Celo is an open-source blockchain project used in more than 100 countries focused on bringing DeFi systems and tools to smartphones. It allows users to send and receive money with Celo’s native coin (CELO) through their mobile device.

Deutsche Telekom is the first telecommunications company to join Celo’s Alliance for Prosperity, a global alliance of more than 130 members trying to build a financial system that can bring prosperity to everyone.

Alongside the investment, Deutsche Telekom has also bought an unspecified amount of Celo’s native coin. Speaking on the future relationship between the two companies, Adel Al-Saleh, member of the board of management of Deutsche Telekom AG and CEO of T-Systems, said that “our investment in CELO… allows our company to take a strategic approach to participating in a public blockchain network. We are able to secure the Celo network with our investment and our own cloud infrastructure while facilitating user onboarding and use-case development.”

Deutsche Telekom will open up its SMS API to allow validators to send verification text messages using their service. Increasing the diversity of SMS providers on the Celo platform improves both the security and reliability of their decentralized verification protocol, which plays a central part in making the Celo blockchain easy to use.

“We’re excited to have Deutsche Telekom help secure the Celo network, develop the Celo infrastructure, and make meaningful contributions as a validator,” said Rene Reinsberg, co-founder of Celo.

“The powerful combination of owning CELO and building on its mobile-first platform will help accelerate mass market adoption of digital assets and enable safe, secure and cost-effective payments for smartphone users everywhere,” he added.

Deutsche Telekom’s purchase of CELO follows in the stride of firms like Tesla investing billions into cryptocurrencies, although some sceptics still consider crypto a highly volatile and unpredictable asset.

Any fluctuations in the value of its CELO investment would not have a major impact on its results, Deutsche Telekom has said, given the size of its investment.

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.   

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