Banking services remain a huge privilege among a vast majority of the global population. Despite the long and illustrious history of the banking sector, it hasn’t been able to achieve massive penetration in the world. This is due mainly to the amount of qualifying prerequisites required to be eligible for banking services. These sometimes strict requirements disenfranchise people in rural areas, the elderly and the uneducated. As a result, a lot of people’s ability to participate in economic activities is hampered. Billions of dollars in potential GDP revenue is lost due to the fact that most of the world still remains unbanked.
Comparing this with the Mobile Telecommunications Industry, there couldn’t be a more glaring contrast. There are an estimated 5 billion active mobile phone lines in the world today. Put this into perspective with the fact that there are only about 1.2 billion active bank accounts in the world today and the identity of the more penetrative service becomes clearer. While banking services require a lot of user registration and other prerequisites, mobile telecom services are a lot easier to access. Even in remote areas of the globe, one is likely to find people owning and using cell phones and other digital mobile devices.
The Telcoin Business Model
Telcoin is an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency startup that wishes to utilize the reach of mobile telecommunications technology to provide people with access to the digital economy. By leveraging the combined powers of Blockchain technology and mobile telecommunications, Telcoin wants to expand the sphere of influence of the digital economy landscape to include people who don’t have access to traditional banking services. The advantage of establishing a partnership framework with mobile telecoms operators is that it gives Telcoin access to the wide reach of these companies thus improving the adoption of the technology. Telcoin does not see itself as a competitor with the Telecoms companies, rather, it is more like a complimentary service that opens up the mobile money market to more users.
The first phase of the Telcoin operational framework is getting into partnerships with telecoms operators across the globe. With the sheer number of such organizations across the globe, trying to partner with each of them individually would be impractical. In order to solve this issue, Telcoin instead prefers to adopt an aggregator approach. In the world of mobile telecoms, there are institutions called aggregators that offer access to telecom operators around the globe. Telcoin will aim to partner with these aggregators on the global, regional, and local levels in order to improve their partnership saturation levels. Once these partnerships have been established, the next phase is to introduce the core services that Telcoin has to offer.
Having established concrete partnerships with Telecoms companies, Telcoin will look to ensure that all the useful applications of their blockchain-based solution is being applied to the industry. Among the several functions and applications of the Telcoin service, there is a special emphasis on remittance. Remittance basically means the transfer of money by a foreign immigrant to the country of his/her birth. After direct foreign aid, remittance constitutes one of the largest means of cash inflow into most developing countries. Telcoin wants to get heavily involved in the remittance scene as there are numerous avenues in which this market can be harnessed.
The major business strategy with regard to remittance payment is to expand the adoption of mobile money transactions. Currently, mobile money transactions only account for a minute percentage of the total global remittance payment. Telcoin’s infrastructure model will introduce fees that are significantly lower than those offered by the major players in the market like Western Union. Using the widespread reach of mobile telecommunications, Telcoin will be able to provide remittance solutions to people who hitherto had no access to such services.
The Telcoin Token
Telcoin is built on the Ethereum blockchain which means that its native currency; also named Telcoin is an ERC20 compliant token. However, unlike other ERC20 tokens, Telcoin has the added advantage of being accessible via the mobile operator of the user. The Telcoin also has another striking from other cryptocoins in the sense that it is denominated in the same manner as actual fiat currency. It is common to see cryptocoins being denominated to the millionth or billionth place value but Telcoin tokens will only be denominated to the hundredth place value. In order to make this work, the total supply of the Telcoin token will be pegged at 100 billion coins. Though this number may seem large, considering that there are only two decimal place values, there will be far fewer Telcoins than there are Satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin).
The Telcoin Project Team
The Telcoin project is backed by a well-structured team with experts in Blockchain Technology and Business Management. The two co-founders of the project are Claude Eguienta and Paul Neuner. Claude is the CEO and has a Masters in Computer Science as well as years of experience working for large tech companies. He is also an advisor at TenX. Paul is a serial tech entrepreneur and has a lot of experience in Mobile Telecoms.
Other members of the team include Simo Kinnunen, Eric Chung, Lee-Ann Cassie, and Yacine Farouk. Simo is the Lead Developer on the project and has a lot of experience with open source project architecture especially in the telecoms field. Eric Chung functions as the Executive Director for the project. He is a veteran of Business and Corporate Development having worked at reputable companies like Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers. Lee-Ann Cassie is the regional manager for Africa and she has more than 17 years of experience in the telecoms industry. She has worked in both public and private sectors across many different countries in Africa, launching successful products in Uganda and Nigeria. Yacine Farouk is the Marketing Director for the project with over 8 years of experience in the field.
The Telcoin concept has a great deal of far-reaching implications for the global economy. In places like Southeast Asia for example, a large percentage of the population remains unbanked. Telcoin’s use of blockchain technology and mobile telecoms presents a tantalizing opportunity to open up the mobile money market to a whole new market.
The cost of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain remains an issue as no one can really predict what it will be at any point in the future. Also, the success of the project depends largely on being able to foster partnerships with telecoms operators in different countries. This will mean a great deal of liaising especially with countries that aren’t particularly predisposed to cryptocurrencies.
Telcoin can make a convincing case for itself with the vast revenues and elevation of national GDP values that a country stands to gain if the project is successful. There are also considerable tax benefits as well.