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Vodafone Aiming to Integrate Crypto Wallets Directly into SIM Cards The move comes as Vodafone India, a separate entity which sees Vodafone Group have a 45 per cent stake, take approximately USD three billion in debt

By Entrepreneur Staff

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Telecom Giant Vodafone is pushing for emerging and now aims to bring blockchain technology to smartphone users by integrating cryptocurrency wallets with subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.

In a recent interview, David Palmer, Vodafone's Blockchain Lead predicts a surge in crypto wallets to 5.6 billion by 2030. Enough to account for nearly 70 percent of all eight billion smartphones on Earth.

"By 2030 we're expecting more than 20 billion mobile phones to be in operation, many of those being smartphones," he shared. "So we've focused on linking the sim card to digital identity, linking the sim card to blockchains, and using the cryptography we have in those sim cards for that integration."

The move comes as Vodafone India, a separate entity which sees Vodafone Group have a 45 per cent stake, take approximately USD three billion in debt. This financial structure will include USD 1.8 billion in loans over the next two years.

Joining the club

While Vodafone makes way to adopt crypto and blockchain in its SIMs, it's not the first in the space to do so. Earlier this year, Spanish multinational telecommunications Telefónica partnered with decentralized oracle network Chainlink to ensure security against Web3-related hacks and exploits, particularly "SIM Swap" attacks.

In 2019, Samsung announced its Galaxy S10 series smartphone would have wallet functions for Ethereum, Bitcoin, and two other tokens. Similarly, US startup VaultTel introduced a hardware cryptocurrency wallet designed to fit in a mobile phone SIM card tray.

According to PwC, there are four potential plays for telecom companies when it comes to Web3. They are multi-connectivity operator; trust and settlement enabler; aggregator and curator; and high-fidelity collaboration experience provider.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff

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