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Telefónica buys part of Bit2Me and launches pilot to charge in cryptocurrencies

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Telefónica announced on Thursday that it has invested in Spanish cryptocurrency company Bit2me. The relationship between the two companies will start with a pilot project to buy electronic devices with cryptocurrency in a Telefónica store.

As Telefonica’s director of digital, Chema Alonso, explained in a press conference, the pilot will allow customers to pay with their cryptocurrency in their “marketplace”, which will be immediately exchanged for euros. In this way, Telefónica will not protect cryptocurrencies, although Alonso does not rule it out in the future. The pilot will be limited to purchases between €200 and €500.

The manager emphasized that this is a world “still at the beginning” in which Telefónica has to accompany its customers in the transformation, but which still has a long way to go and overcome technological challenges.

As you progress information, the investment is 30 million euros and makes Telefónica the reference shareholder of the crypto platform, the most important in the Spanish-speaking sector. Bit2Me sources confirmed to that the investment agreement has already been closed, but they did not provide more details about the multinational’s stake.

It wasn’t the only bet on cryptocurrencies announced today by Telefónica, which also revealed an “indirect investment” in Helium. This company is dedicated to creating a connectivity network for Internet of Things devices by selling Wi-Fi routers that consumers must place in their homes. The company pays them with its own cryptocurrency, which is mined through the same device.

Telefónica also announced this Thursday that it has bought 100% of the company specializing in the development of Metaverse and Augmented Reality experiences in Imascono. The firm, based in Zaragoza, has been active for more than a decade, but has not raised any funding rounds. Among its clients is also the Zaragoza City Council, for which they developed a virtual flower offering for the Pilar Festival, or Disney.

As in the case of Bit2Me, Telefónica has already started a relationship with Imascono through various projects. Among them is the development of the augmented reality of Movistar Prosegur Alarmas. The company will provide Telefonica with a 25-person team and its own corporate clients, the statement said.

In terms of “startups”, the operator also announced an investment in Metasoccer, which joins others that Wayra has made in this technological environment, such as Gamium, Crossmint, “mobile wallet” Rand, holographic videoconferencing company Matsuko with mobile and YBVR.

Bet on metaversion

Telefónica celebrated its ‘Metaverse Day’ this Thursday and filled it with announcements related to this technology. Another of them was the launch of his own “market” of NFTs with the first collection of the artist Javier Mariscal, the funds of which will be donated to the World Vision Foundation to support the victims of the war in Ukraine. The company also reached an agreement with literary publisher Zenda to convert original works by authors such as writer Arturo Pérez Reverte into NFTs.

Similarly, the firm will also launch corporate services to support and develop projects to implement Web3 technologies, tokens or metaversions for companies. “There will be an immersive experience in every company,” Chema Alonso said.

The company has released its own application in Metaversion, which can be downloaded from the Oculus Quest (Meta) “Market” and will allow virtual reality users to enjoy various experiences, such as watching football, a virtual visit to the “set” of the program. La Resistencia’ and a virtual reality activity related to the TV series ‘La Unidad’.

The experience will represent Telefónica’s “hub” of talent and innovation, recreated through Microsoft’s AltSpace VR technology, and will be open to both users and non-users, allowing, among others, to make calls from the Metaverse. This experience will be complemented by the experience developed by Telefónica for el Bulli, the Rafa Nadal Academy and Prosegur Movistar Alarmas.

Similarly, the director of Metaverse of Telefónica, Yaiza Rubio, said that the company is working to recreate the Fundación Telefónica building in Metaverse to turn this virtual reality into a new broadcast channel for the events that take place in the iconic building. Gran Via in Madrid.

Source: El Diario


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