Global Telecom Blockchain Consortium Unveils Working Group for Remittances

A global blockchain consortium of telecom carriers has announced that six further major international telecoms firms are joining its ranks, CT Japan reports today, July 6.

The consortium, dubbed ‘The Carrier Blockchain Study Group’ (CBSG) has also today unveiled the creation of a new blockchain working group that will focus on global remittance services.

Launched in September 2017, CBSG counts as its founding members Japanese telecoms conglomerate Softbank, Taiwan-based telecoms carrier Far EasTone, and two U.S.-based firms – telecoms-focused blockchain firm TBCASoft and telecoms firm Sprint.

Three further members have since joined, these being South Korean LG Uplus, UAE-based Etisalat Telecommunication Corporation and the state-owned South Korean KT Corporation..

In Asia, the latest leading telecom carriers to join are Malaysia-headquartered conglomerate Axiata, the Philippines’ leading telecoms provider PLDT, Indonesia-based Telin, and Vietnam’s largest cell network operator Viettel.

Zain, which provides cell and data services to almost 47 million consumers across the Middle East and Africa, and Turkey’s leading cell phone operator Turkcell have also joined.

The Director of Viettel International Business, Doan Dai Phong, gave some insight today into the ambitions of CBSG’s global cross-carrier blockchain ecosystem, saying the new services would cover “[cell phone] top-up, roaming wallet, secured clearing and settlement, personal authentication [and] IoT applications.”

Blockchain’s potential, which a Axiata representative argued is “by design […] extremely well suited” to streamlining global telecoms “across trusted, connected and distributed parties,” is being recognized by increasing numbers of major industry players.

In May, Cointelegraph reported on the successful live testing of a blockchain proof of concept (PoC) that would automate inter-carrier settlement of services across the telecoms industry, completed by two major telecoms firms from Hong Kong and the U.K.

Earlier this spring, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei revealed its latest Hyperledger-fuelled blockchain cloud service, and South Korean telecoms operator SK Telecom also announced two new blockchain tech platforms, one for digital asset management, and one to support the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) investment ecosystem.

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