Bitcoin seems to have cultivated a habit, and it’s definitely a good one – to attract bigger and better names into the industry. After several banks and tech giants announced their foray into the Bitcoin ecosystem, a telecom giant has become interested in the technology behind the disruptive digital currency which has forced the world to stand up and take notice.
Georges Nahon, the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Silicon Valley said, “There’s something intriguing in this technology, so we want to be there as early as possible. This could be a digital platform of the future.”
This is also a strategic move for the international phone carrier who has been looking to expand its mobile-payment business Orange Money which already caters to more than 12 million customers in Africa and Middle East. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network which facilitates extremely fast international payments at rock-bottom fees.
The group is planning to invest $20,000 initially in each selected start-up, which can go up to $3.2 million per company.
With all the murky silhouettes surrounding Bitcoin notwithstanding, the cryptocurrency has received a mind-boggling $233.95 million in the first quarter in VC-backed investments, according to researcher CB Insights. This is the highest quarterly funding that Bitcoin has ever received.
Even though telecom operators have normally stayed away from Bitcoin, Orange is not the only company getting its feet wet with the digital currency. Earlier, leading provider of high-speed global connectivity, Perseus Telecom had announced that market participants can trade Bitcoins on ATLAS ATS platform in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
It is widely anticipated that the participation of big names would help alleviate the mass concerns regarding volatility, and provide a fillip to mainstream adoption. Also, with the number of investors interested in the blockchain technology increasing almost every week, it may soon set up stage for a flurry of such investments.