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Fact is, numbers don’t lie. Numbers are records and according to independent studies, internet penetration is a big contributor, alleviating people out of poverty. But it isn’t about food or basic needs as shelter or education.
Research reveals that when there is financial inclusion, people, more so, in developing countries, can progressively move towards prosperity, and away from the grip of poverty and misery. Where they have access to financial services, they can better “arrange” themselves, get cushions whenever there is an emergency and cater for their family needs or even start a business. Good news is, according to a report from the World Bank, 3.8 billion people had an account either from their local banks or through mobile service provider.
However, development and adoption levels varied depending mostly with internet penetration which also correlates with smart phone accessibility. At the same time, the gap between the rich and the poor, men and women and the educated and the uneducated remained the same. Evidently, Blockchain, as successful startups demonstrates, are efficient and cheap.
Ripple Inc for example is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through Mojaloop towards financial inclusion. Because access to smart phones and internet penetration goes hand in hand, Telcoin is taking financial inclusion to the next level, bring crypto straight to people’s phone numbers made possible by their collaboration with Telecommunication companies across the globe.
What is Telcoin?
According to the project’s creators, Telcoin is all about sending money, not to agents but to individual’s phone numbers, and making payments in a smarter way by leveraging the benefits of the blockchain. Utilizing the Ethereum blockchain, sending funds or making payments in eCommerce stores using Telcoin is near instant and distinctively cheap from traditional facilitators as Western Union and others.
Generally, their goal is to facilitate financial inclusion via cheap remittance, payments, credit and several other services that can be offered via the blockchain. Towards achieving their goal of unbanking the world and contributing towards the ideal goal of total financial inclusion, Telcoin is actively partnering with Telecoms in areas where accessing traditional financial services is a challenge. With this partnership, not only will more people access financial services, make payments and generally benefit from blockchain but users can receive funds in crypto straight to their phone numbers.
Remittance, Payment and eCommerce
Although their target market is large and not limited to collaborating with Telecoms, they will predominantly focus on payments, eCommerce and remittance. Payments is pretty straight forward but as aforementioned, through the Telcoin network, they are free.
The only charges are those made during conversion to local fiat currency. Undoubtedly, free on-chain transactions with conversions done in collaboration with local telcos is massive for small business owners always searching for saving avenues.
As a user, Buza, attests:
” Fast, Secure, Low-cost transactions, send crypto via phone number, available on top exchanges and partnered with plenty of crypto friendly merchants. Its never been easier to use Telcoin!”
Sentiments equally shared by Robun Decker who said:
” Very secure, fast, and low cost fees to send money around the world no more 10%-19% fees and accessed from your mobile operator.”
On the remittance front, Telcoin will provide a fitting solution. To paint a picture of how this is important, India’s received upwards of $62 billion of remittance in 2016. In the financial year 2013/14, remittance to Nepal stood at $3.5 billion which is roughly 25 percent of the country’s GDP. Sending funds via Telcoin, given the efficiency and cost-saving aspects of the blockchain is therefore, highly welcomed by the diaspora.
Making this possible is a dedicated team. Claude Eguienta is the CEO and Co-founder. He has a master’s degree in Computer Science and previously worked as lead systems architect at CyberAgent besides founding Kabotip. Paul Neuner is the Chairman and he has over 20 years working in the telecommunication space. Apart from Telcoin, he his the CEO of Mobius, a mobile telecom fraud management company.
Then there is Simo Kinnunen who is a a full-stack programmer and an expert in Rust computer program. Other team members include Eric Chung who is the Executive Director, Adam Kull, a Masters of Computer Science graduate at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Naïm Boughazi, Yacine Farouk, Alix Zerd and Christopher Riza, a smart contracts and blockchain researcher.
Advising the team is Michimasa Naka who has more than 28 years experience working with banks, Toby Hoenischm, a specialist in Artificial Intelligence, Jeff Quigley, Rajesh Sabari, the Head of Partnerships at MasterCard, Chris Suh working at the Royal Bank of Canada and Goldman Sachs and Batara Eto.
Telcoin transactions are affordable, near instantaneous and powerful yet convenient thanks to their collaboration with telecommunication providers. Besides, there is an incentivization model for service providers where volumes and fees are considered without affecting the profitability of these connectors.
At the time of writing, the Telcoin team are working hard, building a repertoire of partners. Because of the conversion from TEL, the ERC-20 token of the Telcoin network, to fiat, a majority are exchanges. They include HitBTC, Latoken, KuCoin,Changelly and CoinGate. Others include BRD, GSMA and Jumia.
Token and Fund Allocation
The platform’s native token is TEL, an ERC-20 utility token and a tool that Telcoin creators believe will serve the unbanked smart phone holders in developing economies. In total, there are 100 billion tokens.
Overly, the project’s aim was to raise a minimum of $10 million and a maximum, the hard cap, of $25 million. As such, crowd funding timeline was set from Dec 12, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017. Of the 100 billion TEL coins, only 20 percent or 20 billion was available for sale.
Then, each token was sold at 0.00129 USD (0.0000018165 ETH) with the minimum contribution at 0.1 ETH with no maximum cap. Notably, only ETH and BTC were the accepted coins. Despite an overall ratings of 3.3, the team managed to raise $25 million from their token sale which ended on Dec 31, 2017.
Albeit their successful ICO, there are no details on how exactly funds were used. However, as per their whitepaper, a “large part of the extra funds will be allocated to additional marketing spending in order to maximize our reach to at least one telecom in as many countries as possible – particularly important remittance corridors.”
At the time of press, TEL has a market cap of $21,505,807 with a daily trading volume of $105,173 or 156,296,866 TEL. This is from a circulating supply of 32,051,138,545 TEL. Year-to-date, the token’s performance has been stellar against the ETH, adding 69 percent, dismal against BTC as it is down 45 percent and stable against the USD.
Short-Term Price Catalysts
There is no doubt that Telcoin, an innovative blockchain based solution, is trying to merge two of the world’s leading digital domains in blockchain and mobile technology. Disruptive in a sense and a cog that will help in achieving a 100 percent financial inclusion, Telcoin is despite the bog, progressively moving towards its objective.
Although it is hard to judge the project’s true market potential and whether its token price will rocket in days ahead, the media attention it has received over time will help in a way reassert how the project is significant. The overarching objective for Telcoin is to be a go-to platform in online remittance, play a role in eCommerce and fulfill its purpose in monetary payments where people, regardless of geographical location, can receive money in their mobile phones.
As a result, the platform has an incentive-based governance model, a Flexible API for more interaction and differentiating itself from competitors, transacting via the platform is affordable. Because of what they want to achieve, they have a reliable platform that can support over 5 billion mobile phone owners.
Since they work closely with mobile operators, Telcoin inherent a system where users already trust the system made easier thanks to their proprietary easy to use wallet available for iOS and Android, that can easily integrate with telcos mobile wallets. The simple fact that Telcoin wallets can connect with Telecom mobile wallet means that users can send funds directly to phone numbers.
Striking partnership and edging closer to providing remittance services to those who truly matter is vital for Telcoin. Already as per their roadmap reveals, there is progress, releasing the Telcoin Reference Wallet in Q1 2019. There is another milestone. Late July 2019, the Telcoin team announced that their registration “with the Australian regulatory body AUSTRAC as an independent remittance service provider has been approved.”
As a result, Telcoin continued, this was their “first step toward providing Telcoin users in Australia the ability to send fast, secure, and affordable remittances to Southeast Asia and beyond with just a few taps on their mobile phone.”
Long-term Price Catalysts
Part of Telcoin success anchors on their ability to draw partners and get approval from regulators across the globe. Therefore, it is a noteworthy achievement that Telcoin, after waiting from 2018, has received a virtual currency license from Philippines Central bank.
Because of BSP VCE license, Telcoin can open up the first remittance corridor between Philippines and Canada. Thereafter, they make the real first step towards Telcoin product launch. Furthermore, with the license, Telcoin can reveal their Telecom partners in the Philippines as they prepare for a possible product launch latter this year.
Next there is also a great partnership for adoption in Malaysia:
We’ve partnered with Telin Malaysia, a member of Telkom Group, the largest telecommunications services company in Indonesia. Together we will empower anyone in Malaysia to send low-cost, high-speed, international remittances to Indonesia and beyond. Soon, anyone in Malaysia will be able to cash in via Telin’s network of 30,000 dealers nationwide to remit money to friends and family in Indonesia using the Telcoin app.
Additionally, with their partnership with NYSE-listed Jumia and Vimo, which is Vietnam’s leading mobile wallet, it is no doubt that Telcoin is right on track on their ambition of making remittance easy and fast in South East Asia.
Specifically and according to Telcoin, their partnership with Vimo will be the “fastest and most affordable option for the $1 billion Canada-Vietnam corridor.” Because of this link, “Telcoin users in Vietnam will be able to accept inbound international remittances from Canada (in CAD) and cash out to their Vimo digital wallet balance (in VND).”
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