Telefónica offers European startups access to blockchain

Spanish multinational telecommunications company Telefónica has launched a program that allows startups to access Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The Telefónica Activation Programme allows start-ups and SMEs in Spain, Germany, and the U.K. to get free access to the solutions for six months. The program will also provide participating start-ups and SMEs with technical support, additional training, and networking services. It is also possible for the participants to attract investment from Wayra, the innovation arm of Telefónica.

In regards to blockchain, Telefónica plans to give participants access to its TrustOS modules. TrustOS is a service that combines middleware and blockchain for companies exploring blockchain solutions. It helps companies access blockchain’s immutability and transparency without overhauling existing systems.

Applications for the Telefónica Activation Programme are currently being accepted, and will remain open until June 22.

Before the Telefónica Activation Programme, Telefónica had already embarked on a number of blockchain-related projects.

They were already exploring blockchain for inter-carrier payments and settlement. Telefónica is also an investor in blockchain firm Clear and is a part of Hyperledger, as well as the Communications Blockchain Network, a blockchain initiative to streamline inter-carrier payments.

Telefónica previously carried out a tech innovation program called Start4big in collaboration with Aigües de Barcelona, CaixaBank, Naturgy, and SEAT. In addition, they are working with IBM on an international mobile call billing system and are a member of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group.

In January, the U.K. blockchain start-up Ocyan announced a partnership with Telefónica to provide its technology as an infrastructure layer for TrustOS. In 2019, Telefónica worked with Wibson, a Wayra accelerator startup, to trial a blockchain consumer data marketplace.

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