Blockchain & Crypto

Vodafone Looks to Link SIM Cards to Blockchain

Telecom provider Vodafone plans to integrate blockchain technology and cryptocurrency wallets into smartphone SIM cards.

Vodafone Looks to Link SIM Cards to Blockchain

In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Future Focus, Vodafone Blockchain Lead David Palmer revealed the company’s plans to integrate blockchain technology into corporate smartphone subscriber identity module (SIM) cards to link them directly to crypto wallets.

Palmer said he expected 20 billion mobile phones to be in operation by 2030, with eight billion of them being smartphones. He also predicted a surge in crypto wallets to 5.6 billion in the same period (potentially serving nearly 70% of the global population).

The telecom firm shares these ambitions while facing financial challenges. Being a 45% stakeholder in Vodafone Idea Ltd., a separate entity operating in India, Vodafone Group has drafted a financial plan to raise nearly $3 billion in debt including $1.8 billion in loans for its unprofitable joint venture with Birla’s conglomerate over the next two years. Ahead of a debt-raising plan, Vodafone Idea Ltd had to sell off $2.2 billion worth of shares to partly repay operational creditors.

Industries, such as supply chain, telecommunication, or data storage can significantly benefit from the use of blockchain technology. Some of the practical use cases of blockchain in telecom activities are fraud prevention, data transmission and mobile payments. The idea of integrating blockchain into SIM cards has been around for a while. Back in 2019, U.S. startup VaultTel aimed to create a crypto hardware wallet to put into a smartphone’s SIM slot. However, the project failed to reach its crowdfunding goal.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.