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Deutsche Telekom partners Coinbase as crypto goes mobile

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Mobile operators to popularise crypto currency

Deutsche Telekom (DT) has selected US crypto exchange giant Coinbase as custodian of its recently purchased digital currency, Celo tokens.

The appointment closely follow DT’s substantial investment in Celo tokens, which made it the first telco to join the Celo Alliance for Prosperity.

In January Mobile Europe reported how DT was looking to sell its dutch subsidiary in a bid to divest itself of a legacy asset. Meanwhile, the involvement in crypto currencies sees it prioritising digital assets. 

Mobile ops help crypto payments 

Celo is a blockchain project which aims to simplify crypto payments through the user friendliness of mobile handsets. Instead of asking users to manage complex crypto addresses, customers of mobile phone operators can send cryptocurrencies using their mobile phone numbers. Users can also transfer money through WhatsApp and a specialised application for the crypto currency, the eponymously named Celo app.

The exchange will hold the tokens through its custody platform, Coinbase Custody. DT selected the crypto exchange on the basis of its robust security protocols.

DT’s investment in Celo follows its work as a validator in the decentralised funding network of Celo mobile. While DT’s Coinbase custody allows it to keep its Celo coins, the company could stake them for its subsidiary T-Systems MMS.

As owner of mobile operator T-Mobile DT has stated a desire to explore the decentralised crypto economy. The move endorses the cryptocurrency sector and helps DT evolve into a mainstream crypto adoption, according to investment site Invezz.

The selection of Coinbase custody by DT follows the crypto exchange’s award of an operational license from Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. The license, secured in June, made Coinbase the first exchange to receive a license from the German financial watchdog.