Spanish Telecom Giant Telefonica Invests in Bit2Me, Pilots Cryptocurrency Payments
Telefonica, one of the world’s largest telecom companies, has closed an investment in the Spanish cryptocurrency exchange Bit2me. The company, which has been very active in the metaverse space, is entering the crypto payments arena by running a pilot to allow its customers to make payments via its online store Tu.com with an upper limit of $490.
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Telefonica Invests in Cryptocurrency Exchange Bit2me
Telefonica, the fourth-largest telecom company in Europe, has decided to tackle the cryptocurrency business. The company announced an investment in Bit2me, a Spain-based cryptocurrency exchange, that will give it access to the implementation of the technology stack of the organization. The investment, whose details and numbers were not disclosed, is the first move of the company in the crypto area.
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Unnoficial sources disclosed that this participation could be between $20 and $30 million, giving Telefonica a very important stake in Bit2me. This fund injection would be giving the exchange support to keep operating during this cryptocurrency market downturn, in which other exchanges have been forced to lay off staff and take operating cost-cutting measures. Bit2me had just secured funds for $2.5 million from private investors prior to Telefonica’s investment.
Cryptocurrency Pilot Program
One of the first actions that Telefonica is taking after this investment is the implementation of a pilot program that will allow customers to pay with crypto at Telefonica’s online store, Tu.com. The company will accept cryptocurrency payments of up to $490 for tech hardware and phones as a way of measuring the interest of the general public in this payment alternative.
The company will use Bit2me’s tech as a way of receiving the cryptocurrency payments and exchanging them for euros, which will be kept by Telefonica; the company will not receive cryptocurrency in these transactions. However, this might change in the future. The digital unit director of Telefonica, Chema Alonso, declared that the company might accept crypto in the distant future.
The pilot will be restricted to these payments in the online store, and no plans for a future expansion of this plan were revealed. The company had shown interest in the metaverse and NFT area before, making different investments in these fields. Recently, the company established an alliance with Qualcomm in order to use its extended reality technology to develop metaverse experiences for its customers. Telefonica has also put funds behind Gamium, a Spanish metaverse company.
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