Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced that it is investing an undisclosed amount in the blockchain payment platform Celo. The company also purchased an unspecified amount of Celo digital tokens to be used on the platform. Deutsche Telekom will be the first telecommunications company to join the Celo Alliance for Prosperity.
Celo is an open-source blockchain ecosystem that focuses on making decentralized financial (DeFi) systems and tools accessible via the smartphone. The Celo ecosystem includes a decentralized, proof-of-stake blockchain technology package, a native asset (CELO), two stablecoins (cUSD and cEUR) and the Celo Foundation Alliance of Prosperity. The company was launched in 2017 and has maintained a low profile in the crypto market. However, this has changed in recent months, in part due to the recent $20 million funding raised by blue venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz.
This move by DT represents their initial foray into and testing of the DeFi market. The cryptocurrency allows consumers to bypass traditional financial institutions in their transactional operations. Deutsche Telekom will manage the infrastructure throughout the Celo ecosystem. To do this, Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary T-Systems MMS will act as a validation tool using the Open Telekom Cloud (OTC). OTC meets the stringent security and compliance requirements of the European regulatory framework by providing secure financial services worldwide on a smartphone.
Additionally, Deutsche Telekom will open its SMS API so that authenticators can send verification text messages using their service. Expanding the number of SMS service providers on the Celo platform ameliorates the security and reliability of the decentralized phone authentication protocol, which is key in making the Celo blockchain simple to use.
Adel Al-Saleh, T-Systems’ CEO, commented: “We are able to secure the Celo network with our investment and our own cloud infrastructure while facilitating user onboarding and use-case development on top of the Celo network.”